Saturday, September 29, 2012

Why We Love Derrick Rose

While its certainly over-dramatic and it may be building too much hype for the return of Derrick Rose, there's a new Adidas commercial that certainly captures something about the sentiment that Chicago feels towards its basketball superstar. In only a couple of years we've grown to love Derrick Rose more than Michael Jordan.

Don't get me wrong, as kid growing up in Oak Park - 6 miles west of the Madhouse on Madison - I loved Michael Jordan. Like a lot kids, especially a lot of kids from Chicago, I was obsessed with him. I knew every one of his stats. My room was covered in his posters. Chicago never felt like we'd lose a game with him on the floor. But for as much as we were amazed and inspired by Jordan - for as much as we wanted to be "like Mike" - we knew that we couldn't. Michale Jordan was god and we were blessed that he played for us.

Derrick Rose is literally one of us. He's an inspiration, a kid who grew up the worst part of the City and, through fortune and the guidance of his mother and support network, managed to rise to the top of the world. And, unlike Kevin Garnett or Dwayne Wade (both from Chicago), he came back. Derrick Rose's humility matches our own. He's human and, unlike Jordan, he's genuinely a nice guy.

The NBA has changed since the days of Magic, Bird and Jordan. It's full of primadonas, Hollywood hype and transparently manufactured teams (ahem, Heat, Lakers, etc.). We're obviously biased, but we get the feeling that there aren't a lot of good guys left in the NBA, except Derrick Rose.

The Bulls of the 90's were the greatest team of all time, and we'll always cherish them. But the current team matches our temperament more closely. It's a team of role players and hard workers and it's only superstar is literally just a kid from Englewood.

We love Derrick Rose because we aspire not just to his skill level but to his character and because, at the end of the day, he loves us too.

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