Here Comes D-Rose…   4 comments


In Chicago, the collective sports fan base desires and demands greatness each and every season.  Greatness alone isn’t good enough for us, though.  We need greatness with some flare, some pizzazz.  The ’85 Bears wasn’t just the greatest football team ever assembled, those guys were monsters (monsters who could awkwardly dance and pretend to play instruments better than anyone else…ever) led by a coach with a fictional hurricane named after him.  The Bulls of the 90’s?  It wasn’t enough that we had the best player to ever play the game, the best “Robin” to set foot on a basketball court, and the best pro basketball coach of all time, we also needed Horace “Fo-Man” Grant with his crazy goggles and Dennis “The Worm” Rodman with his hair follicle antics.  The 2005 Sox won with the most hated catcher outside Chicago and most beloved instigator in the Windy City behind the plate.  Last year’s Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup thanks to an overtime goal by a kid we embraced for beating up a cabbie in Buffalo.

When we as fans finally witness such greatness, we cherish it and hold onto the memories for the rest of our lives.  We carry it around with us ready to throw it in an out of towner’s face anytime he or she tries to tell us that Tom Brady’s near perfect Patriots team could have beaten the Bears Shufflin’ Crew.  When Bill Simmons in his Book of Basketball told the world his hometown 1986 Celtics were the greatest NBA team of all time, we scoffed and (seriously, I might add) asked, “Who would cover Tony Kukoc on that team?”  There is a reason the Chicago Bulls 1990’s Dynasty DVDs are selling on Amazon.com for almost $300 right now while the Lakers Dynasty DVDs are going for a mere $15.  The demand for those memories is just that much greater in the Chicago sports fan population.  I can guarantee that if you are a true Chicago sports fan, either you or someone you know owns the Super Bowl Shuffle VHS or you have downloaded it onto your MP3 player and you can probably still recite at least some part of the song.

I am here to let you know that we are on the cusp of greatness yet again.  There is a hometown kid, born and raised right here in the Second City, who is in the process of making the leap to being not only a solid MVP candidate this year (give Tim Legler two weeks before he’s saying the same thing), but one of the NBA’s greatest players.  He has rejuvenated a franchise that has been in the dumps for over ten years and is doing so with speed we haven’t seen before and new-found gusto (have you seen the commercials with “Slim Chin”?).  Through 20% of this season, Derrick Rose has led a team without its major free agent signing power forward to a 9-6 record atop the Midwest Division, including the first winning record on the dreaded “circus trip” since The Statue won his last ring.   Through fifteen games he is averaging 27 points, 8 assists, and nearly 5 rebounds per game.  Of course you can say the scoring numbers will drop when Carlos Boozer returns to the line up, but with a solid and consistent (sorry Taj Gibson) post scorer, his assist numbers will only increase.  Just for argument’s sake, if Rose conservatively averages 24 points and 9 assists per game for the rest of the season, he will finish the season in a group occupied only by Oscar Robertson, Nate Archibald, and Jerry West.  Of these players all achieved First Team All-NBA Honors and all but Archibald won the MVP (Archibald had a bit of an attitude problem that led him to be traded twice in the prime of his career…D-Rose has no such attitude problem.  In fact, players around the league like Kobe Bryant and even the spurned child of Chicago Kevin Garnett go out of their way to compliment him and his dedication to the game).  In addition, all were honored as members of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996 and are enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

If you aren’t already one of the bandwagon jumpers who have joined in the Chicago Bulls herd, you should look into doing so and fast (at the very least for the United Center Nachos…).  I have noticed people who couldn’t tell me the difference between a small forward and a hole in the ground posting Facebook status updates about the resurgence of the franchise and it is only going to get better from here.  In the words of the immortal Stacey King (see, my argument exactly, in no other town would a former bench player turned color commentator like Stacey King be so loved and revered as in Chicago), “this kid is special”.  Stacey’s right and I hope ALL of Chicago and the rest of the NBA start to take notice.

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4 responses to “Here Comes D-Rose…

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  1. When you say that the ’85 Bears were the best team ever… aren’t you discounting your fellow Purdue Grad’s ’72 Dolphins PERFECT SEASON!

    • That team was good…maybe even great…and it’s always nice when boilers are a part of something awesome (d brees is sports illustrated’s man of the year)…but that bears team was the best…and I am thinking of a solid holiday recipe for ya…don’t worry

  2. You really know how to get to the core of me Joey. Nice blog today. I’m home for lunch reading this, and didn’t realize I was eating my bowl of Apple Cinnamon Cheerios with a fork for the first couple bites b/c i was so occupied by it (yea I had a bowl of cereal for lunch, i wasn’t that hungry, deal with it.)

    All that talk of how Chicago fans have more heart than anybody and not even a single mention of our beloved Cubbies “there’s always next year” attitude.

    • Sorry Tree, the pain and resilience of a Cubs fan is never over looked…I just thought it would be assumed…younger squad…new manager who showed a lot at the end…I like the team this year

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