By Megan Brown
During the ’90s, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls revolutionized the game of basketball and took it global. People around the world had on Bulls gear and were able to recognize Jordan even if they never watched a full game of basketball before.
During the Jordan era, it was difficult to get a room at a Chicago hotel during the regular season and nearly impossible during the playoffs.
Once Jordan left, along with coach Phil Jackson — followed later by Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman — the Bulls went through years of poor play and terrible records. That all changed when the franchise was able to draft guard Derrick Rose, who went on to become the Rookie of the Year and last season’s MVP.
Rose has the mentality of a player from years ago, but the body and skillset of a new era elite athlete. A lot of athletes today are more concerned with promoting their brand and finding other ways to make money than they are about how they perform on the court.
Don’t get me wrong, Rose has endorsements and has been doing more commercials and things like that, but it all comes second to basketball.
When he received the MVP award, he made sure to thank his coaches for drawing up the plays and game plans that featured his talents and for having faith in him to lead the way. He thanked his teammates for finishing off plays that he set them up with and for helping him rack up wins.
After signing a contract extension with the Bulls for around $94 million dollars, he did the same thing again and said some heartfelt words to his mother during the press conference.
Rose has changed the culture of the Chicago Bulls and restored it back to the winning ways of Jordan and Pippen. Well, not completely there because that dynamic duo brought six championships to the city and Rose has yet to make it to the finals, but the team is winning.
Rose has the drive and hunger that Jordan displayed while he played to go along with his natural physical gifts. There are a lot of players that have the physical stature and skill to get to the NBA, but they don’t have the mental toughness, will, and discipline needed to take their games to the next level. Rose has been preparing for this moment for years.
Growing up in a tough area of Chicago, Rose was exposed to everything Jordan accomplished and he dreamed that he could be in that position one day. His older brothers kept him out of trouble and in school and on the court practicing every day.
Years later, that dedication paid off but Rose hasn’t taken his foot off the pedal. Rose is on a mission to win it all for himself, his teammates, his family, and Chicago.
Another thing I respect about Rose is how he stands up for his team. I remember a number of times where Kobe Bryant embarrassed his teammates while talking to the media and at speaking engagements. Rose hasn’t always had the most talented players around him, but when the media asks who he would like to bring in to play with him, he always talks about how much he likes his team and thinks they can win with who they have.
If the best player on the team and MVP of the league has confidence in you that will make others step their game up and want to work harder. Kobe talking down on players and always complaining about bringing in more talent makes his teammates feel more pressure because they have to deal with being attacked internally as well as by critics.
Rose has it all together, and he is making all the right moves. It is hard to root against a guy like that even if you’re not a Bulls fan.