Derrick Rose probably drives to the basket as much as anybody in the NBA, yet he gets no respect from NBA referees. He's constantly jostled, poked, grabbed, probed, and just about everything other than being mugged, (except for by Dwight Howard) more than anyone in the NBA, and he rarely gets the calls that he should be getting by now.
Out on the streets, a lack of respect can be deadly. Just this week, an elderly man was shot by a thug who asked him for a dollar. The assailant didn't like how the man acted after he asked him for the money. He was quoted as saying, "He disrespected me."
While those actions won't work on the basketball court, it would be nice if his coach, Vinny Del Negro, could defend his star guard once in a while.
Del Negro normally just stands there with his hands on his hips and a puzzled look on his face instead of getting in the official's face. It would be nice if he got a technical foul once in a while or even thrown out of a game defending his star player.
It wouldn't hurt the team with him gone either. That should be happening after three more games anyway if they don't make the playoffs, or seven more if they do after Cleveland sweeps them.
As a rookie, Rose averaged 3.1 free throw attempts a game. It's jumped this year to a robust 4.3.
Rookies always have a history of having to earn the calls from the officials, but not in their rookie year. It's kind of like the bizarre ritual of not calling a foul on a defender at the end of the game unless he cripples the shooter on the play.
But hasn't Rose earned that respect by now? He's at the end of his second year and he's an All-Star. When does he start getting the calls?
Part of the blame is Rose's own fault. He's so strong that when he goes to the hole, it's really hard for the defender to knock him off course. He often completes the play and makes the basket without getting the three-point play.
He's also very quiet and almost shy. Where other superstars pout on every call that doesn't go their way, Rose very rarely creates a fuss. He takes the non-calls in stride and keeps on playing.
That hurts him and his team. If Rose was getting the respect he deserves, he would probably be averaging about 25 point a game with the additional free throws.
The "ultimate driving machine," (my nickname for Rose) goes to the basket as fast and strong as any player in the league outside of LeBron James.
Last night against New Jersey, in a game the Bulls needed to win for their playoff push, Rose was first bumped in the chest, and then had his arm grabbed by Courtney Lee as he beat him to the basket, and the ball went flying out of bounds.
The refs reviewed the play and awarded the ball to New Jersey. According to league rules, they could not have called a foul even if they saw the blatant grab by Lee.
They were looking at the tape to determine who had possession of the ball. You would think, knowing they blew the call, they would at least award the ball to the Bulls.
No such luck.
The Bulls were up by two with 25.2 seconds left when the infraction occurred. Had they called the foul, the Bulls likely would have won the game, which would have gone a long way to helping them clinch a playoff spot.
One bad call could put them in the lottery and at home for the playoffs.
I don't really care if they make the playoffs or not because they really don't deserve it, especially the way they have played the past week.
But Derrick Rose doesn't deserve the lack of respect he's getting from the refs.
Superstars get the calls, sometimes even if you breathe on them.
Rose gets hammered and gets the shaft.
He's a superstar in this league and it's about time he starts getting treated like one.
If the NBA is going to make money off of him, they should at least give him a freebie once in a while.