It's been over 20 years since a Bull has hoisted a MVP trophy but the time has finally come again as Chicago's All-Star Point guard, Derrick Rose, was officially named the NBA MVP Tuesday. Not since Michael Jordan has Chicago been able to boast of a top level talent but the young Rose, the youngest ever to win the award at 22, is just that and this award validates a season where he willed his team through injuries and adversity to the top of the league.
"Back in training camp when I said I wanted to be MVP, I wasn't trying to be cocky at all," Rose said Tuesday. "I knew that I put a lot of hard work in over the summer in the offseason, and I just wanted to push myself."
Rose has 4 more MVP's to win if he wants to catch Jordan, and he has plenty of time to do it, but for now he is the toast of the city and has the admiration of fans and teammates alike.
"We're all happy," Luol Deng said. "We're all excited. Not just how good he is on the court, but he's just a great kid. He deserves it. Just what he did this year and the effort he put into it. Like I said before, whenever one of us wins it's just really a good feeling. We all feel great. As good as he is, you just feel like you did something. We're just so happy for him."
Drafted number 1 in the 2008 draft, Rose came into this league with a ton of expectations made of him by himself and others. He expected greatness because anything less would be a failure and even from the get-go, he has delivered. He is a pro's pro, a guy who both puts in the work year round and provides a legit leadership presence on the court and in the locker room. Rose, in his short NBA stint, has become the leader of his Chicago squad through honesty, hard work and a humbleness that has endeared itself on teammates.
"He's humble, he's coachable. It doesn't matter if the 12th man on the team says something to him, he's going to look you in the eye and listen to you and nod his head and try to do it better," teammate Kyle Korver said. "That's just the kind of guy he is. And that is so rare. That is so rare. So to be on his team, to watch him grow this year, he's really matured as a [player]. And he's still raw. He can still get a lot better. That's the scary thing. And he will because he works really hard. And he's got great people around him, coaching him, and helping him out."
That humbleness and humility was on full display Tuesday as he gave his acceptance speech. Almost overcome by emotion, he gave thanks to his mother for all the support and sacrifices she made for him to be able to be where he is today. So heartfelt and honest was his speech, something very rare in the athlete community at times like this, that many in attendance was moved themselves just listening to him.
Rose and his Bulls are down 0-1 to Atlanta so far in the second round but for one moment, those concerns were secondary to one of the NBA's greats showing the world that it isn't just on the court that he stands out above the rest but off it as well.
Photo Courtesy of: ASSOCIATED PRESS