If You Hate NBA Super-Teams, You Should Love Derrick Rose
The NBA misses Derrick Rose. The 25-year-old point guard is three seasons removed from his 2010-11 NBA MVP campaign. Since April 2012, Rose has appeared in only 10 NBA games. It's hard to say whether Rose will return to superstar form after missing nearly two full seasons with crippling knee injuries. It's still uncertain whether he'll play with Team USA in the hoops World Cup in Spain later this summer. He may never recover the explosiveness that made him the No. 1 pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, and arguably the most exciting player to enter the League since LeBron James.
But there is little doubt: Derrick Rose is the realest dude in the NBA.
While his superstar counterparts are enjoying the flattery of free agency and plotting Big Threes, Rose sits quietly by and awaits his chance to make it back to the hardwood. Miami's LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade have all opted to become free agents this summer, as has New York's Carmelo Anthony. Minnesota could deal Kevin Love if a team can convince him to ink a long-term extension. So what is Derrick Rose doing to recruit another big name to play in Chicago? Absolutely nothing.
[UPDATE: Rose was, after all, a part of Chicago's official pitch to Melo, and reportedly even got out on the court to show Melo that he's healthy. However, he didn't make it to the big dinner that night. Those facts notwithstanding, the sentiments here still ring true.]
In the end, it may cost him a shot at an NBA Championship in the near future—as LeBron, or others, may decide to join forces without him—but Rose says it's not his job to convince Melo, for instance, that joining him on the Bulls would be a fruitful partnership. Here's what Rose said on Monday, via Yahoo! Sports:
Rose told Yahoo Sports on Sunday that he doesn't plan to recruit Anthony – or any free agent, for that matter – even though he likes Anthony's game and thinks they can play alongside each other.
Rose's reason is simple: He said it's "not my job."
"My thing is if they want to come, they can come," Rose said.
Anthony averaged 27.4 points for the New York Knicks last season. Rose averaged 21.8 points and 7.9 assists during the 2011-12 season – the last before he injured his left knee in the 2012 playoffs. Rose respects Anthony's game and believes they can co-exist.
"I love Melo's game," Rose said. "He's a great player. Takes the game serious. He's consistent. He shoots the ball great. I love his heart.
"I can play with anybody, no matter who it is. I believe I can play with anyone if they step on the court with me."
If you're a Bulls fan, you hate this. Because you want Melo, or Love (or LeBron, even) whatever it takes. You want Rose to help land those guys.
If you're a basketball fan, you respect the hell out of this. Because in an era dominated by talk of super-teams, Rose remains confident that he'll take the Bulls to the Finals, whatever roster you want to give him. He's the type of dude at the park to show up alone and runs the court for 3 hours with four 5-foot JV cast-offs, just murdering the competition—meanwhile the varsity cats are sitting out five, six games waiting for the rest of the team to arrive. "Nah, y'all go ahead, we got 5 coming."
Rose's mentality is, arguably, more on par with the greats of the previous generation than any player doing it today. Marinate on that for a moment.
Could Rose put together a pitch for Carmelo that would knock his socks off? Maybe. Would he like to play with him? Probably. But at the end of the day, Rose is ready to ride with whoever suits up next to him. Be it Melo or Mike Dunleavy, Jr. on the wing, he doesn't care. No excuses, play like a champion.
DRose isn't going to beg Melo to play in Chicago. Nor LeBron. Rose is old school. He doesn't have Instagram. He doesn't post photos of himself working out shirtless, or attending fashion parties in Paris. Since joining Twitter in June 2012, he's pumped out a grand total of 45 tweets. He broke down crying at the launch of his DRose 3 sneaker two summers ago.
The Bulls might not land a big-time free agent. And Rose might not ever be that Rose again. But damn if we don't respect him going against the grain when it comes to the fellating of free agents.
All that said, Rose deserves a running mate like Love or Melo to go with Joakim Noah's defensive tenacity and steadily improving offensive repertoire. Get well soon, Derrick!