By Jordan Kabialis
“Do You Know Who This Kid Is?”
“… He’s from Chicago. He has a forty inch vertical…” And now he is MVP.
The postseason honors keep coming for the Chicago Bulls, this week at 4pm the Bulls held yet another press conference to announce that Derrick Rose has been named MVP.
Rose is the youngest player in NBA history to win the MVP award, at the age of 22. Rose improved his game significantly this season, improvements that can be credited to his participation in the World Basketball Championships with Team USA this past summer, new head coach Tom Thibodeau, and his incredible work ethic.
Before the current season started, September 3rd to be exact, and after LeBron James took his talents to South Beach, sportswriters continuously praised James, Kobe, and Kevin Durant as possible MVP candidates. This prompted Rose to quietly come out and say, “Why can’t I be the MVP of the league? Why can’t I be the best player in the league? Why? Why can’t I do that?”
Rose remembered that moment and acknowledged it in his acceptance speech saying, “I remember coming into the season saying that I wanted to be MVP. I wasn’t trying to be cocky at all… I was just trying to push myself.”
Derrick Rose finished the regular season averaging 25 points per game with 7.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds. The statistic that stood out to many was his 3-point shooting, which improved immensely over the previous season. Rose connected on just 16 three-point attempts. This season Rose attempted and made 128 three-pointers, four times more than in his first two years combined.
The fans in Chicago love Derrick Rose and will undoubtedly be going crazy on Wednesday when he is presented with the award during game 2 of their series against the Atlanta Hawks. Fans know just how good of a player he is and just how talented he is, but what the fans don’t see is exactly what Bulls coaches, personnel an players get to see day in and day out.
Both head coach and Coach of the Year, Tom Thibodeau spoke prior to Rose receiving the award: “You see the way he plays, that’s the way he practices,” said Thibodeau, “He plays hard and he practices hard.” These are words people have been hearing him say of Rose all season. Rose’s work ethic is second to none.
When answering questions from the media, Rose was asked if there was ever anyone who told him that he couldn’t do something that only motivated him more? Rose said with a smile, “Yeah, probably the media… I’m the kind of guy who will feed off of anything.” It is that quality that makes Derrick the great player that he is. If you tell him that he can’t do something, he will work his behind off trying to show you that he can.
Bulls General Manager, Gar Forman also spoke to the media prior to Rose receiving the award. “As great of a player Derrick Rose is, he’s an even better person,” he said of the new MVP. This is something fans sometimes overlook. Derrick Rose, by all accounts, is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. He isn’t full of himself at all; if anything he looks to someone else to share the light with him. All signs that someone did something right when raising this kid. And that someone was his mother.
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, Rose stood at the podium, welling up when acknowledging his mom. “Last and not least I want to thank my mom, Brenda Rose” Derrick said, “My heart… the reason I play the way I play.”
As if that wasn’t enough, it looks as if his mom might be getting another gift from her son come Sunday. When asked about what Rose plans to do with the award (since his mom already has his Rookie of the Year award), Rose laughed saying, “I want to have it for at least a few days before she steals it. So give me a few days mom and then you can have it.”