This Rose is sweet

This no-smiles-shy-guy won everyone's hearts this year.
(image by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

I wanted Derrick Rose to be MVP. I think he made an indelible impact on the Bulls’ season. He is the main reason (Tom Thibodeau is COTY, but Rose is the guy who does the dirty work on the hardwood) why Chicago has home court advantage all throughout the playoffs.

He also makes the players around him better. There is no stat for this kind of effect, but it’s clear that something about him just makes his teammates want to make him, and the team, win (Carlos Boozer, however, proves that there is an exception to every rule).

“He carries himself in a way that makes you want to cheer for him even more,” said teammate Kyle Korver.

They believe because of him.
(image by the AP)
He has created a buzz in his native Chicago, across the league, across the States, and across the world. He has captured everyone’s imagination. And even if you’re a doubter or hater, even if you believe he’s overrated, you can’t discount the fact that he has seized pretty much everyone’s attention.

The spotlight is on Rose, and he has handled it in quite an uncommon fashion, especially for someone so young, so gifted, and so famous. This is perhaps the best reason he is the MVP – he doesn’t believe in his own “valuability.” He doesn’t trumpet around, or even insinuate, how good he is. In his MVP acceptance speech, the 22-year old’s main theme was not about how hard he worked or how hard he pushes himself or how far he wants to go or how many titles he wants. It was a thank you speech to his mom – to the person who showed him not how to play the game of basketball, but the game of life.

Rose just continues to raise his game
(image by the AP)
And this oh-so-rare quality among today’s overpaid and entitled superstars is really the most valuable quality of this Most Valuable Player. You can analyze, compare, and crunch numbers all you want, but we all know a great player transcends all that and just provides us with an enticing mystery we can’t wait to uncover, an intriguing story we can’t wait to see play out.

When I resume teaching in a couple of months, I will use Rose’s example for my students. I’ll tell them that this is the model for handling fame, success and greatness. This is how to remain humble while on the winning end.

But who knows what will happen in the future? Perhaps it’s too early to label him as the ideal super athlete. If Chicago fails to win the title this year, or in the next few years, talks of him leaving the Bulls, asking for a trade, or producing a 1-hour ESPN feature about “taking his talents to _______” might surface. He is human after all.

But I don’t think he’ll do that. There’s something about this kid that is just so preciously atypical. As former NBA player Rod Strickland put it, “He’s like Beta-Max, they don’t make them anymore. He’s a different dude. He’s a very humble kid. He’s not looking for the spotlight but it’s on him and he’s handling it well. But he’s not looking for it.”

Oh he handles it well alright. Much better than some people who came before him, and I think Chicago can count on this: even when the chips are down, I don’t see him leaving his hometown.

Derrick Rose is this season’s MVP.

He puts his head down and just barrels to the hole.
No nonsense. All business. MVP.
(image by the AP)
Your 2010-2011 NBA MVP
(image by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Here's D-Rose's MVP acceptance speech:

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