Derrick Rose Wins MVP
By Benjy Lipsman in News on May 4, 2011 2:40PM
Back in late September, during the Bulls' media day, Derrick Rose asked, "Why can't I be the MVP of the league? Why can't I be the best player in the league?" At the time, many passed it off as the overconfidence of a budding, young star even if out of character for one typically so humble. Few took the questions too seriously.
Derrick Rose did. The season began, and Rose stepped up his game from his first two years. Years that included a Rookie of the Year award and an All-Star Game appearance. The Bulls won a lot -- despite missing each of their starting big men for extended parts of the season -- as Rose carried the team. By mid-season, "MVP" chants poured out of the stands on a nightly basis. He led the Bulls to a surprising, league-best 62-20 record. And now, few months later, and Rose has claimed the Maurice Podoloff Trophy as the NBA's MVP. He received 113 of the 121 first place votes and 1182 points in the voting. Orlando's Dwight Howard finished in second with 643 points and LeBron James third with 522. Rose, at 22 years old, also became the youngest MVP in league history -- take that, LeBron!
How impressive were Derrick Rose's stats during the season? He joined a very elite group of players to average 25 points, 7.5 assist and 4 rebounds in a season. Only six before had done that -- Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. Even more impressive than his stats was his poise and determination on the court. He led the team to the best record, in spite of the injuries, because he seems to possess that killer instinct that allows him to will the team to victory, in a way we haven't seen since the Bulls' other MVP, MJ.
And yet all we saw was that humble boy from Chicago's Englewood when Rose accepted his award yesterday at the Lincolnshire Marriott. Rose thanked all those who helped him get to this point but lavished the most extensive praise on his mother, Brenda. Rose even promised to give the trophy to his mom -- after enjoying it for a couple days.