by Ryan Meehan
I hate to be the guy playing the no respect card but I feel I’ve been left with no choice.
For those of you who don’t closely follow the NBA, probably a majority of what you hear is Kobe this, LeBron that, and whatever Carmelo Anthony is doing. Then there’s a second level of people who watch a few games here and there and are aware of some of the league’s up and coming talent: Guys like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. I’d like to think that Derrick Rose is known to this second level but I get the feeling he’s not known enough.
But then there’s a third level of people who are basketball fanatics: People like me who know more about the Memphis Grizzlies’ bench than their girlfriend’s family. We catch every game we can and overanalyze everything. I certainly hope you wouldn’t have to be at this level in order to understand how dominant Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls really is.
The 2010-2011 NBA season has been owned by Rose. In a year proceeded by media hoopla regarding where LeBron James was going to take his talents, and whether or not the Nuggets would be able to get what they wanted for Carmelo, the Bulls made only one major move in the offseason – Acquiring Carlos Boozer from the Jazz. I didn’t really think that this was a very big move when you consider that James, Anthony, and even Dwayne Wade could have been negotiated for.
Yet, I’m still hearing analysts talk about how he’s not a lock for the MVP. That’s fucking crazy. What does he have to do? I heard one of these douchebags make the argument that LeBron should get it because he’s more valuable to his team. Am I watching a different league than these guys? Because Derrick’s the most important player to the Bulls and the league and it’s not even close.
THERE IS NO RACE. Every writer that has a vote should vote for Rose and that’s that. This has nothing to do with being a homer, it’s just the simple truth. There’s probably gonna be some jackoff from the Miami Herald (Not to name names, but I bet it’ll be Dan LeBetard’s dumbass) that will vote for LeBron, but this country has no shortage of stupid sportswriters. As of press time, D Rose has averaged 25.1 PPG. LeBron’s avergaed 26.7, but he hasn’t helped make the players around him a lot better. Wade is at the same level he’s always been, and Bosh is starting to become exposed as a guy who was only a star on a bad team to begin with in Toronto.
Same thing with Kobe: I can’t say Kobe is really the MVP even though the numbers are there, because he’s failed to light a fire under Artest’s ass like he was able to do last year. Instead, the Lakers are currently at the tail end of a five game losing streak in a year where they’ve had some really rough stretches and Artest has only played when he feels like it.
All of the qualities one looks for in an MVP: The numbers, the leadership, the first seed (that’s important)…they’re all there with Derrick Rose. MVP is not only the player that is the most valuable in the league, but also the most valuable to their team. This year, Rose fits both descriptions.
I think it’s also important to mention here how because of the success of Michael Jordan, it seems like everyone looks at every quality Bulls starter as if he’ll never fill Michael’s Nike’s. Which is true, but Rose doesn’t need to be the next Jordan, he just needs to be himself. There’s this stigma that seems to suggest every time that we see a guy in a Bulls uniform tearing it up we think “Well, he’ll never be you know who…”, and that’s ridiculous. Maybe it’s because the fanbase is so dedicated (You didn’t seem to see anything about Kobe not being able to become the next Magic) that we feel we’re always going to have to have that loyalty to Jordan. And we should, because he won us six championships, but that certainly doesn’t mean a guy can’t come along after him and throw down.
It’s also important to note that other than the uniform, Derrick Rose has nothing to do with Michael Jordan. The same way Kobe Bryant and LeBron James have nothing to do with Michael Jordan. It was a different era, a different league. And we will never see the likes of another basketball players quite like Mike.
The Bulls will play the Pacers in the first round, who (as I have stated previously) are only in the playoffs to begin with because the Bucks have tanked so bad. It’s likely the Bulls will have a pretty easy path to the Finals, as the numbers would dictate they’ll probably see Orlando in the second round, and it doesn’t really matter who they play in the conference Finals because they are better than both the Celtics and the Heat.
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