Derrick Rose: 5 Former Greats He Can Learn from to Improve His Game

Hayden CoombsCorrespondent IIIJuly 12, 2011

Derrick Rose: 5 Former Greats He Can Learn from to Improve His Game

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    Depending on who you talk to, Derrick Rose is either the best point guard in the league, or one of the best.

    Coming off an MVP season, he is knocking on the door of greatness.

    Many people laughed a few seasons ago when he declared that in two or three seasons he'd be one of the best point guards in the world.

    Well, no one is laughing now.

    Derrick Rose is one of the best players in the world. He leads one of the favorites to win the next NBA championship.

    But, he is not without fault.

    If Derrick Rose can learn a lesson or two from these former greats, he could fully unleash his massive potential on the rest of the NBA.

John Stockton

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    The 10-time NBA All-Star was one of the greatest the game has ever seen. He is regarded by many as the best "pure" point guard of all time.

    What made Stockton so good was his uncanny passing ability. He holds the NBA record for most assists by a considerable margin. He also hold the NBA record for assists per game over one season at 14.5.

    While Derrick Rose is a more than capable passer, he definitely has a ways to go before he is in the same league as Stockton.

    If Derrick Rose and Carlos Boozer could form a pick and roll duo that even slightly resembled what Stockton and Malone did to teams in the '90s, it would be a dark day for the other 29 teams in the league.

Gary Payton

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    The Glove.

    Gary Payton is the loud mouth, trash talking point guard who holds the Seattle SuperSonics franchise record for points, assists, and steals.

    He is the only point guard to ever win the NBA defensive player of the year award.

    NBA hall of famer, Gail Goodrich, went as far to say that Gary Payton was, "probably as complete a guard as there ever was."

    No knock against Derrick Rose's defense, but Payton was one of the few players who could really frustrate Michael Jordan.

    If Rose could play defense against Dwyane Wade like Payton did against Jordan, there is little doubt that the Bulls could blow past the Heat next year.

Oscar Robertson

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    The player that many say was decades ahead of his time, Oscar "The Big O" Robertson is also regarded as one of the smartest players of all-time.

    It was his quick mind and superior athletic ability that helped him average 30.3 points, 10.6 assists, and 10.4 rebounds over the first five seasons of his career.

    The Chicago Bulls would be very lucky if Derrick Rose developed into a similar triple threat player who could score inside, outside, and hook up his teammates.

Jerry West

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    The Logo. Mr. Clutch.

    Just one of the many nicknames used to describe one of the NBA's all-time greatest scorers.

    Jerry West was an amazingly efficient shooter. He was a threat to score from almost anywhere on the court. I can't imagine how many more points he would've score had the three point line been introduced during his career.

    What Derrick Rose could take from West is that efficient shooting ability. Consistent shooting from beyond the arc would surely push Rose to the next level because opposing players would not have the luxury of playing off the ball to defend against the drive.

    A three point shot like that would make him scary-good...or more accurately scarier-good.

Magic Johnson

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    The greatest point guard of all time. It truly was magic every time he touched the ball. He truly could dominate all five positions.

    But what I want Derrick Rose to learn from Magic is his transition game.

    When Magic was in transition or on a fast break, no one (maybe even Magic, himself) knew if he was going to dunk it, pass it off, pull up for a jumper, or post you up. 

Putting It All Together

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    Derrick Rose has all the physical tools to become an all-time great. He doesn't even have any glaring weakness to his game. He just needs to continue to put in the hard work and develop.

    But, if he can take a lesson from the history books and learn from these five great point guards, there is no reason why Derrick Rose can't become the greatest point guard of this decade.

    And maybe with some luck, he'll lead Chicago to another championship or two.