An American Beauty Rose
I mean right off the bat, does that headline even make sense?
Derrick Rose isn't so much a name as a sentence. As in: Derrick Rose in the NBA three years ago and hasn't stopped since.
Okay, so Derrick Rose is so good that he ... can't be spoken of, unless it's in a sentence? As opposed to Theo Ratliff, who is so bad that everyone just walks around like zombies going "Theo Ratliff... Theo Ratliff."
I've read "Derrick Rose in the NBA three years ago and hasn't stopped since" a thousand times this morning and I have no idea what it's supposed to mean. Someone please help me.
He's my MVP so far, not just for the way he's carried the limping Chicago Bulls the way Penn's carried Teller. And not just for the way he jumps like a frog bred with a kangaroo. And not just for the way he scores, defends and passes like he's going to the electric chair tomorrow.
Yuck. Three analogies in one graf, first off, is like a cheese grater to my eyeballs. And it's not just that Reilly's schtick is older than Father Time! It's that it's also as uncreative as a joke... that's bad... and it's not a really good joke.
He's my MVP for moments like this:
There is a 102% chance that Reilly will now share some strange anecdote about how good of a person Rose is and for that reason deserves the MVP award, given annually to a player that Rick Reilly observes being nice.
Three young fans are walking alone after leaving the United Center.
Wait, three people are walking "alone"?
They're the last to go, so they're all alone.
Oh, I guess they are. I'm all alone too, me and my 50 co-workers in my office today. We're all alone.
A white SUV pulls up next to them. This part of Chicago could use a shave and a clean shirt, so somebody rolling up on you isn't usually happy news. The young men try not to look. The window comes down and who is behind it but Derrick Rose himself, The Heir to Air.
Whatever, Derrick Rose was nice to some fans so he's the MVP. Skip ahead:
Derrick Rose, but the pass still hadn't come.
Are these typos? Or ... what? Can someone explain to me what this is?
Now his elbow was at about rim height -- which is insane for a man who is only 6-3. He had done his part -- the alley -- but the oop still hadn't arrived from teammate Ron Brewer, so there was nothing to do but hang around and wait. He looked like some David Copperfield trick up there, immune to gravity.
Is it just me, or is the "alley" part of the alley-oop the pass, and the oop is the dunk? Oh, and Derrick Rose is the MVP, according to Rick Reilly, because:
He is a good basketball player
He was nice to fans
He is a nice guy
He jumped really high once and it looked like a magic trick
Rose tomahawked it through with one hand so hard he nearly left a dent in the floor.
I like that he linked this -- which I have no designs on clicking -- so we can all see how much of a nightmare basketball monster Derrick Rose is as he dunks a basketball, something that happens literally thousands of times every NBA season, NCAA season, year of rec league games, etc etc.
But wait -- Rose was humble about it!!! MVP. Because the MVP goes to the most humble player -- just ask Michael Jordan.
Who builds athletes like this nowadays? Rose calls people ma'am and sir. He doesn't have a Twitter page. After ad shoots, he personally goes around and thanks everybody in the room, even the lens-cap-holder guy. And he has the peculiar habit of referring to himself in the first person.
Nice guys finish MVP!!!!! Hey Rick, you haven't used the term "tongue-bathe" in 14 seconds, what gives?
Rose could put up numbers that would fry your calculator. He is easily talented enough to lead the league in scoring. His drive to the iron is unstoppable. His 3-pointers made are up 800 percent this season. The kid has made 69 treys already. Michael Jordan didn't make that many until his sixth season. But Rose would sooner tongue-bathe --
-- goats than go for the scoring crown. "I can't do that! I'm the point guard!"
Because only Humble Derrick Rose agrees to fit into his team's system. Literally there are two players in the NBA that don't do this: Kobe and LeBron. Also this "800 percent" figure is REALLY fuzzy math, as Reilly is actually talking about Rose's 3PM/G, not total threes. Even though there has been a marked improvement, he felt the need to strangely embellish it, and now my head hurts.
My point here is: These statistical arguments are dumb (Rose is a great player beyond his 3-pt shooting so it's just really strange that the only time Reilly decides to back up his claim of Rose for MVP with stats is threes) and they come so late in the story that most readers have already blown their brains out anyway. So... whatever.
Derrick Rose where the blood flows in the gutters and fear rides on the wind on the South Side.
In 1991, when Rose was 3, his Englewood neighborhood had 81 murders -- in the first four months. In 2008, the singer Jennifer Hudson's family was gunned down on West 79th, four blocks from Murray Park, where Rose learned to ball. So far, in the first three weeks of 2011, there have already been two murders.
Criteria for MVP, according to Rick Reilly:
Be really nice
Fit into your team's system
Be nice to your mom
Good at basketball
Grow up in a dangerous part of Chicago
Derrick Rose the last few weeks in the All-Star voting to become a starter on the ridiculously loaded NBA East.
Seriously man, what the fuck??????
He pretended he'd be happy to be "a towel boy" but he admitted to friends that he was aching to be voted onto the starting team by the fans.
In fact, he'd like to be more than that.
"Who gets your vote for MVP so far?" I ask.
"Can I vote for myself?"
Wait, Russell Westbrook is a potential Hall of Famer? He must be REALLY nice to fans.
The pick is Rose for all the right reasons.
All the right reasons being: Anything that has nothing to do with basketball.
And when someone asks you, "How'd the Bulls get so good?" you answer in a complete sentence: Derrick Rose.
Who goes around asking why the Bulls are good? Does this happen? And wait, I thought "Derrick Rose" was supposed to be part of a sentence, but now it's just its own sentence? As always with Reilly, more questions than answers.