Derrick Rose put the Bulls back on the map this season.
The first-overall pick won Rookie of the Year, and played a fantastic first-round series that went all the way to a Game Seven against the defending champs.
Some are calling it the best first-round series ever. (I can live with that, although I would prefer calling it the greatest best-of-seven first round series ever.)
But these are just some of Rose's accomplishments in his rookie year.
However, all his accomplishments pale in comparison to the first day after his rookie season. The day after the Chicago Bulls' 2008-2009 season ended, Derrick Rose was back in Chicago—practicing at the Berto Center!
Why is this a big deal, you ask? Well, it’s what we always ask our athletes to do—care and continue to work hard to improve their game.
It would have been very easy for Derrick to take some time off. And honestly, who could blame him?
He went from a University of Memphis team that played 40 games the year before to a season where he played 89 games. That’s more than double.
Also, when you include the fact that NBA games are eight minutes longer than the college game, the additional minutes on the body start to add up.
So Derrick had every reason to be tired and to take a few days off—but he didn’t. He very easily could have followed the path of Bulls teammate Joakim Noah, and went back to college for a few days (which didn’t work out to well for Mr. Noah). But he did not—he went back to work.
He knows he needs to work on his jump shot and that’s what he’s doing. Too often we hear the bad stories, like Noah’s, in sports and don’t praise athletes enough for doing what we as fans want, and expect our favorite players to do.
I for one love the fact that Derrick Rose is back in the gym—and for that reason, I will always be a fan of his.