Derrick Rose is quickly becoming the fastest growing superstar in the NBA. He's leading the Bulls to the elite level without having most of their best players, gone due to injury. He's averaging career highs in almost all categories, and has unquestionably raised his game to an MVP level.
He's making history for the Chicago Bulls and now, in just his third season may be the GOAT in Bulls history. No, I don't mean Greatest Player of all time in Bulls History, I mean Greatest Point Guard of all time in Bulls history.
Don't believe me? Let's take a look.
The following is a list of the best starting point guards in Chicago Bulls history. These are the players Derrick Rose will be competing with to take home the title of "Best Point Guard in Chicago Bulls History"
In no particular order, here we go:
1. Norm Van Lier, 2. B.J. Armstrong, 3. Ron Harper, 4. Kirk Hinrich, 5. John Paxson
Together, they have a combined:
- 4x All-Star berths (55 NBA seasons combined)
- 1x All-NBA second team (Norm Van Lier)
- 1x All NBA rookie team (Ron Harper)
- 9x All-NBA defensive team (Van Lier; 8, Hinrich; 1)
- Combined scoring avg of: 11.2 points per game
- Combined assist avg of 4.7 assists per game
Rose up to this point in his career:
- 2x NBA All-Star (he'll be an all-star this year)
- Rookie of the Year
- NBA All-Rookie First Team
- Multiple time NBA player of the week/month
- Tied record for most points scored by a rookie in playoff debut
- 1x Gold Medal Winner at FIBA Games
- Career scoring avg. of 20.7 points per game
- Career assist avg of 6.8 assist per game.
Yeah, I could pretty much end my argument right here, but I won't. Let's continue.
Ever since the Post-Jordan era, the Bulls have had quite the struggle. From 1999 to 2004 they compiled an atrocious 106-304 record, which is a 34% winning percentage.
They finished with the worst record in the league once, and tied for the worst another time. They missed the playoffs from 1999 to 2004, and finally made it to the post-season in 2005.
However, until Rose's arrival, The Bulls haven't been anything but a fringe playoff team.
That has all changed. Now in Rose's third season, he's taken the team to new heights.
- They have combined the 3rd best record in the Eastern Conference and the 5th best record in the entire NBA.
- They are the only team that remains undefeated in their division.
- They have the 3rd best home record in the entire NBA.
- They are 16 games over .500 for the first time since their last championship in 1997-98.
And most of all, he's the first Bulls player since Jordan, to be seriously contending for the MVP award.
Yea, I'd say Derrick Rose is making the Bulls relevant once again.
How many Bulls point guards have won Rookie of the Year outside of Rose?
Actually Rose is only the third Bull ever to win ROY, Elton Brand and Michael Jordan won the award in their first years. However they weren't point guards.
Rose is, and he came straight into the league and dominated. Winning the rookie of the year award in dominating fashion.
Outside of Norm Van Lier, most of the former Bulls point guards have had trouble even making it to the big game. More often than not, it took the team having a spectacular season and the player having an above average season to make the All-Star team.
B.J. Armstrong is a perfect example of this. His stats certainly didn't scream All-Star caliber, but the Bulls won the title that year and were the best team in the league, which garnered B.J. an All-Star berth.
However, other starting Bulls point guards haven't had too much luck.
John Paxson: 0x All-Star
Kirk Hinrich: 0x All-Star
Ron Harper: 0x All Star
B.J. Armstrong: 1x All Star
Norm Van Lier: 3x All Star (played 10 seasons)
Derrick Rose: 1(soon to be 2)x All-Star.
Actually, Rose will a perennial All-Star from here on out. He will also be the only Bulls point guard ever to start in the All-Star game. That speaks for itself.
Here's a list of highest season scoring averages for the Bulls' best point guards:
Norm Van Lier - 1974-75; 15.0 points per game
B.J. Armstrong - 1993-94; 14.8 points per game
John Paxson - 1986-87; 11.3 points per game
Ron Harper - 1988-89; 11.2 points per game
Kirk Hinrich - 2006-07; 16.6 points per game
Derrick Rose - 2010-11; 24.7 points per game
Now I know scoring isn't everything, but it should be noted that Rose is the most lethal offensive weapon the Bulls have had since "His Airness."
None of these point guards even come close to Rose on the offensive side of the court. He's even added a potent three point shot, which was considered his weakness, to his arsenal.
Now we know offense isn't everything, but it's definitely something.
Derrick Rose may not be a born leader, but he sure has become one.
Rose has his own way of leading the team. He may not be as vocal as Kobe Bryant or Kevin Garnett, but when he needs to get a message across to his teammates about raising their level of play, he simply elevates his own.
Rose leads by example. A quality which no other Bulls point ever possessed.
When faced with adversity, Rose puts the team on his shoulders and sends out a strong message to this team that he's the leader, and when the team needs him, he will step up.
People say you can only lead by talking, but the ones that lead quietly are usually the deadliest. Rose has quietly become "the silent assassin."
Ever since Derrick has begun playing organized basketball, he's been a winner.
In high school, during his four years at Simeon, his team went 120-12. They won 90% of their games.
In College, at Memphis, Rose took his team all the way to the championship game in just his first year. They finished the season 38-2. Winning more than 95% of their games.
Now in the NBA, with the Bulls, thus far Rose has:
-complied a record of 112-96 with the Bulls.
-which is a 53% winning percentage.
-since Rose arrived, the Bulls have never had a losing season
-since Rose arrived, the Bulls have never missed the playoffs.
So you see, Derrick Rose knows a thing or two about winning.
Other Bulls point guards have had a decent winning track record, but no one is even close to Rose's. The fact that the Bulls will only get better from here on out, will only further separate Rose from his contemporaries.
Statistics are BIG part of measuring a player's ability to play. It's also almost a requirement to win the MVP award.
Rose however has no reason to worry. He's putting up big-time stats. And when I say big time, I mean BIG TIME.
He's currently averaging 24.7 points per game, along with eight assists and over four and a half rebounds a game. He's even chipping in a steal and almost a block a game.
In fact, he's currently:
-Only player in the entire league averaging at least 24 (almost 25) points and eight assists a game.
-Only player in the entire league who is Top 10 in scoring and assists. Rose is 7th in scoring and 10th in assists.
-6th in the entire league in PRA (points + rebounds + assists) combined with 36.8.
-Top 15 in the NBA in efficiency
-Top 10 in the NBA in rebounds counting guards only.
-Top 10 in the NBA in blocks counting guards only.
-2 time winner of NBA player of the week
Rose is clearly putting up big time stats, that only a few Bulls point guards, if any, could rival.
I think it's a pretty fair assessment to say that not many, if any at all, Bulls point guards have been in the conversation for league MVP.
Up until now...
Derrick Rose has quickly emerged as the front-runner for the League's most prized award. Heck, if the season ended today, there is no doubt in my mind that Rose would almost surely take home the award. That's how good of a season he's had thus far.
There's still a half a season left to play, and if Rose continues at this pace, then no one can deny him the Maurice Podoloff trophy.
Faced with Adversity all season, Rose has put the Bulls on his shoulder, while Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer have missed significant team with injury. The Bulls actually have a winning record with either one being out for as long as they have. All because of Rose.
It won't be easy to win the award with competitors such as Dwight Howard, Lebron James, Amar'e Stoudemire, Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Paul but the fact that Rose has been a legit candidate up to this point, is enough to garner him as the greatest point guard in Bulls history.
How many of the former Bulls point guards can say that they were the franchise player for the Bulls during their tenure? Let me give you a hint: It rhymes with "hero."
Derrick Rose is the first point guard in Chicago Bulls' history to be the teams' franchise player. He is the engine to the Chicago Bulls car. He is the quarterback, the pitcher, the goaltender, the go-to-guy. He makes this team what they are.
He IS the Chicago Bulls.
Ever since his emergence in the league, Rose has been the one staple for his team. While players have come and gone from the Bulls, Derrick Rose is the one constant. And any talk about bringing in players, or departing with players, all leads back to one question: How does that affect Derrick Rose?
Derrick Rose is the franchise player for the Bulls and the greatest point guard in Bulls history.