CHICAGO — As the season winds down, the talks of who will win the title will super heat. But another discussion that always seems to get fiery is who will be the MVP. Usually the MVP race is a foregone conclusion by the time the playoffs start.
This year may be no exception.
The candidates for NBA MVP have been whittling themselves down, but one name that has never been questioned is Derrick Rose. Not only is Rose the hands down favorite among basketball writers, but his popularity among general fans has skyrocketed. With the Bulls having risen from behind Miami, to two games in front of the Celtics for first place in the East, Derrick Rose’s popularity has gone through the roof. He has an Adidas commercial, a shoe lines and his jersey is one of the best selling jersey’s in NBA stores.
And all this for a guy who is shy about the limelight.
The question has been asked again and again whether or nor Derrick Rose is the MVP and the reason goes beyond his stats. The stats are there, don’t mistake that, but being an MVP is a lot more than just putting up the best stats.
Rose leads his team and for that he makes them leaps and bounds better than they would be without him. Luol Deng’s game has improved, Joakim Noah has an equal energy to feed off of that makes him an even more explosive player. Everyone is better simply by being in the same room as Derrick Rose, and if that’s not what an MVP is, than I don’t know what an MVP should be.
And even if you forget the players around Rose that have improved, he himself has shown much more solidification in terms of his superstar abilities. Rose is now the guy who is Chicago’s closer; if the Bulls are behind going into the final quarter, watch your back because D-Rose is going to be right there to change the game. He has reinvented the ‘Chicago Chokehold’ from when the Bulls are down, they’re done to once Chicago takes the lead you might as well just hit the showers then, because you’re not getting out of the Chicago Chokehold.
So many times this year has Rose single handedly put teams in the Chicago Chokehold, but he has also assisted his teammates in this act. Just act Miami, Boston, L.A. and the countless other teams that have fallen victim inside the United Center. Rose gives Bulls fans a fourth quarter confidence that has been non-existant since the Jordan Era, and that is one of many increasingly deserving connections being drawn between the two Chicago legends.
When history is all said and done, there will be two titles for Chicago Bulls basketball; the Jordan Era and the Rose Era. And if that doesn’t end your 2011 MVP debate right there, then you must not be watching the same league as the rest of the world.