The look on LeBron James’ face says it all.
Did we forget? What makes us remember? Are we prisoners of the moment more than captives of pleasant memories?
Derrick Rose will return to the Chicago Bulls next season. The team who scratched, clawed and fought to remain relevant without him awaits. By way of great coaching, incredible defensive effort and true grit, the Bulls made it about as far as a team missing a former league MVP could go. They will be more than better with him.
They will be dangerous.
Rarely do we find a player who seems to be made for a time, team and a town. If these Chicago Bulls are going to challenge the NBA’s elite, it will be with Derrick Rose as both their best player and leader.
Did we forget?
The athleticism. The power. The grace. At his best Derrick Rose puts together all three in a combination never seen before in a point guard. He dunked on you. Drove past you. Crossed you over. Made you stumble with a step back jumper. He confounded defenders and frustrated those who intended to stop him. Along with an MVP award, Rose became the fifth player in NBA history to post 2,000 points, 600 assists and 300 rebounds in a single season (along with Oscar Robertson, John Havlicek, Michael Jordan and LeBron James) and the seventh player in NBA history to average 25.0 ppg, 7.5 apg and 4.0 rpg in a single season (along with Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James). (Stats and Numbers courtesy of NBA.com)
What makes us remember?
If not for the long awaited coronation of a King in Akron, the story of one Derrick Rose could be much different. Perhaps an NBA Finals appearance. Perhaps a title. Be that as it may, if there is to be a challenger to the throne it, will come from Chicago. What other player combines the accolades, the skill set and the supporting cast to challenge South Beach royalty? Perhaps a Prince, the city’s own, can and will pose a threat.
While Derrick Rose sat out the entire year there have been rumblings of certain players surpassing him. Russell Westbrook. Chris Paul. Tony Parker. Rajon Rondo.
There has also been talk of some approaching the lofty status he holds as one of the premier point guards in the league. Kyrie Irving. Steph Curry.
What those who make such assertions fail to realize is that what Rose brings to the game is more than points and assists. More than highlights. For the Chicago Bulls Derrick Rose is the difference between relevance and a championship. One man takes a good team and makes them great; makes them contenders.
This off season should be one we take to remember just how good Rose is. How special a player he has to be to go from the NCAA Championship game has a freshman to NBA MVP in just 4 years. A true challenge is coming to end the Reign in Miami. All hail the Prince of Chicago.