After a season of disappointment and frustration for Bulls fans surrounding Derrick Rose and his failure to return to the court, the star spoke out this week and let loose some surprising words about his current status amongst the NBA elite.
When asked who the best player in the NBA is, Rose proclaimed that he is, stunning everyone who watched the NBA last season and heard volumes worth of excuses about his confidence in reference to his failure to return from a torn ACL on schedule. For obvious reasons, it also has surprised everyone that the answer wasn’t LeBron James.
Now maybe Rose is really that confident and has worked on his conditioning enough to get back to where he once was. Maybe he really is going to make the return this season and carry the Bulls to a No.1 seed like he did a few years ago, but not showing respect for the two time defending NBA Champion, MVP and Finals MVP James just tells you that Rose is letting his competitive nature talk rather his common sense.
It’s an outlandish claim, one just preposterous enough to grab your attention. It is Rose’s announcement that he shouldn’t be forgotten when you have the ridiculous conversation about who is the best player in the NBA that people feel a need to have. I honestly have no problem with it him saying it as that, I merely have an issue with the fact that he has not played a competitive minute since his injury and doesn’t know what it’s going to take to play in his post surgery life.
Players want to believe that they can so easily recover from major injuries and be the same player they always were. That could be true in the case of Rose as he is only 24-years old, but I for one don’t think he should be saying it until he has proven it to himself and his fans. Maybe I’m just superstitious and don’t want him to jinx it, but I like to believe that I’m just expecting Rose to be realistic. Getting the rhythm of an NBA game back after such a prolonged absence will be difficult enough, but now he enters a situation where he has to find his shot, his dribble and his place in the team again.
Or, maybe I just don’t like trash talk from a guy who didn’t play a second last season. To proclaim to be the best, you have to possess evidence. Guys like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James have jewelry and trophies to show for their achievements. With all due respect to Rose, he has an award and a bad knee that calls his long term athleticism into question. So ease up on the best player in the league talk.