He’s it. The Bulls haven’t had an it since the big IT, Michael Jordan. Rose is the one we’ve been waiting for, and I guess that has been clear for a little while already, but this week he’s going to be featured in a spread in Sports Illustrated, the magazine whose cover Jordan owned for years. (Rose is not on the cover.) And ESPN.com quoted an NBA scout saying that Rose is unguardable. - Greg Couch / Sun Times
Trailblazers 116 / Bulls 74
Sorry for the reality slap, but it needed to be done. Don’t worry, the swelling will go down in a little bit.
Derrick Rose is an incredible talent. You only need to watch him for a few minutes at random to see what a special player he MAY become. But, before we break out the holy oils and begin the anointing, I think we all need to take a step back and look at the reality of the situation.
He is 18.
Does he have the tools to be an NBA legend? Yes. Does he have skills that most players only dream of? Yes. Does he have the work ethic and support that the greats before him had? Only time will tell. But make no mistake, without those last two, this all goes to hell in a handbasket faster than I care to think.
I don’t blame Couch for taking this leap now. He is far from alone. Either in print or on air or just in corner bars, people see Rose play and just gasp. I get it, really I do. The kid is that good.
However, we don’t know if he will become another Kobe Bryant and try to jam an “I” into “TEAM” every chance he gets, or if he really will be the next Jordan. To truly be a “win first” type player requires that you realize there are 4 other guys out there with you at all times and they wouldn’t be there if all they had was schoolyard skills.
Coach Del Negro, who I like more and more as time goes on, has been handed an unenviable task. He has been handed the next superstar on his first day of work and not enough parts to protect said superstar in game situations. That may be through injury or, in a couple of cases, ineptness, but this is what he has to deal with every day.
Yet, despite the bludgeoning the Bulls took last night, I see progress. Baby steps, I will grant, but progress nonetheless. They are slowly grasping that de-fense is not that thing in de-yard. They starting to jell as a unit (last night notwithstanding) and they are getting healthier as they go.
The average age of your 2008 Chicago Bulls is 24.3 (source, ESPN.com). They are a young team with a new coach. Bad nights will happen. They just did. But good ones will come too and as the season goes on I am of the opinion there will be more of the latter than the former. Again, however, only time will tell.
Our very own legend in the making, Tyrone Briggs, has already started a thread, so CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE DISCUSSION!