Derrick Rose is really, really good.
As Chicago and fans league-wide are finding out, D-Rose has the potential to be among the top-tier superstars in the NBA today. His street cred also puts him on a pedestal in the Windy City.
All this may seem bland or vanilla and obvious, but consider what Chicago Bulls fans have had for top players in between Michael Jordan, the best ever, and the Simeon product.
- Eddy Curry
- Tyson Chandler
- Kirk Hinrich
- Ron Mercer
- Marcus Fizer
- Jamal Crawford
While some of those players have been serviceable to good (Hinrich, Crawford, Chandler), the general mass of scrubs that have donned Bulls jerseys the last decade-plus has been nothing short of terrible.
Derrick Rose is not only special as a scorer, which he showed in high school and at Memphis for one year in college. His passing skills (and do so with an uncanny preemptive ability), speed, leadership, and more recently, emotional fire have brought out the best in his teammates.
Carlos Boozer is a pick-and-pop master, due in part to his point guards passing him the ball throughout his career, Luol Deng is getting ridiculously open looks, and fringe guys like Ronnie Brewer are contributing when needed. Rose is the centerpiece to Chicago's offensive prowess.
Rose is currently averaging 24 points, 8.5 assists, and a shade over 4.5 rebounds, up from his career totals of 18/6/4. At age 22, he is not even near his peak, considering athletes tend to trend up in skills through their early 30s. Much like top guys LeBron James, Dwight Howard and others, being so good so young can lead to remarkable numbers as his career goes on.
Derrick is not LeBron nor MJ locally and on a grander scale, but to think he can be even better than now?
That is special.
The last great Bull, Michael Jordan, had his worst years in his first two from 1984 to 86, partially due to injuries. If Rose has his worst years behind him already, then life appears to be good in the Second City.
It will be nearly impossible to replace or replicate Michael Jordan's stature in Chicago and NBA lore, but living, breathing, and playing for his home team surely can only help Rose's ability to make fans feel like the wait for the next great was worth it.