Derrick Rose is the best story, not the MVP

ESPN’s John Hollinger wrote a column called “The Derrick Rose Story” March 31 about the Chicago Bulls Derrick Rose not being the Most Valuable Player, but the best story line of the season. After reading the piece twice, painfully, I have to agree with him.

Let’s start with my Rose background. I have been a huge supporter of Rose during his three seasons in the NBA and have been screaming “Rose for MVP” at my TV or computer as I watch the quick point guard cut to the lane and make or miss insane layup completions or attempts. I add misses because everyone who watches thinks they look mighty pretty and give him a bigger push towards the MVP. But at the end of the day, it adds to the story, not to Rose’s cause of being the most needed player in the league.

I wrote the previous sentence with disgust because I don’t want it to be true. At this very moment, I’m watching the Bulls and the Boston Celtics game on TV and the Chicago crowd is screaming “MVP” as Rose stands at the free-throw line. I want to join similar to every other Bulls game, but this one is different. I’m lip syncing “Story, Story, Story”.

Here is how my season long opinion changed in approximately one hour.

Hollinger starts with giving examples of how Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett were robbed of MVP awards during their prime because of the stories of Allen Iverson (2001) and Steve Nash (2005 & 2006). Neither Iverson or Nash had their best season when they won the award, O’Neal, Duncan and Garnett were putting up legendary numbers. I’ll admit it, Iverson was a player I loved, but with a mischievous smile, he didn’t really deserve to be the MVP.

The ESPN basketball guru gives proof of the story beating out the true MVP with stats of those seasons and with the knowledge of the voters, media, not giving Iverson or Nash any love in the following seasons when they put up career highs.

Why couldn’t this happen to Rose? There is no way he could be at his prime, which means he would put up even better numbers than he has this year. If he won the award this year, does it mean he is going to win each year he improves? Probably not. Also, is it possible for him to be the most valuable player in the entire league if he isn’t even at the top of his game? Again, probably not.

Then this season’s stats come out. Hollinger points out, If the award was based on the complete stat chart, Rose would be the fourth best player in Florida, not the NBA.

Throughout my love for sports and journalism career, I have been a stat guy. I think numbers says it all, which means if Rose would be the fourth option in Florida, where would he really stand throughout the entire league. I would love to say first, but he isn’t first on any stat list, more a less all of them.

This is the part that slapped me across the face and woke me up from my Rose for MVP comma. I don’t know a single Rose supporter who hasn’t said one of these statements:

  • “No one has had to do more than Rose”
  • “Rose won without Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer”
  • “The Bulls would be horrible without Rose”

Rose doesn’t do it all because Boozer and Luol Deng both average 17 points a game and Noah grabs 11 rebounds a game. When Rose is on the bench, the Bulls don’t look as fluent as they do when he is on the court, but the scoring numbers don’t plummet compared to other teams and the defense actually picks up. Everyone I know has said he can’t play defense and although he has improved as a defender, backup C.J. Watson is just as good.

Guess what? Every player in the league won without Noah and Boozer. Rose didn’t do it all by himself, Deng and the bench gave major productivity and the Bulls have the best defense in the league. The New York Knicks Amare Stoudemire would love to play with any big man, especially two.

For the last point, Hollinger puts up a stat of how teams perform when the star player is on the bench. The Bulls only lose 1.69 points per 100 possessions when Rose is on the bench compared to the Miami Heat losing 10.49 when LeBron James is sidelined and the Dallas Mavericks losing 16.68 when Dirk Nowitzki is on the bench. Other teams are digging canyons when its star is on not on the floor while the Bulls are either build a hill or plateau.

Now to finish the assassination of my Rose for MVP campaign, Hollinger points out Rose can be replaced while others can not be.

If the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook or the New Jersey Nets Deron Williams were on the Bulls, they would probably still have the 57 wins the Bulls currently have or would only drop by a few. What would happen if the Heat replaced Dwayne Wade. The Heat lost to the Milwaukee Bucks by five points without him in the lineup on Wednesday.

All of the evidence supports the statement, Rose is the best story in the league, not the most valuable player.

Well, If he isn’t, who is?

The disgust returns, the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard. Hollinger smacks me in the face again by pointing out Howard is irreplaceable, the Magic absolutely would not win any games without him, he isn’t playing with any big men, especially Noah and Boozer, he is putting up top three averages in blocks, rebounds and top 10 in points, and has more to do on his team.

I hate it, but he is right. No one is doing what Howard is doing this season. The Magic are fourth in the Eastern Conference with 50 wins, but if they didn’t have the big man, they might have the longest losing streak in NBA history, not the Cleveland Cavaliers.

There have been countless times where my brain scrambles to think who does Rose really have on the team. Then I think, Deng, Boozer, Noah and a list of role players who step in and hit big shots or made defensive stops.

The same brain has been searching for people on the Magic roster to help Howard. Gilbert Arenas, no, Hedo Turkoglu, no, Jameer Nelson, no…and the no’s continue.

Sometimes people have to admit when they’re wrong and admit defeat. I won’t replace my “Rose for MVP” with “Howard for MVP”, but Howard deserves to recognized as the most valuable player in the league.

However, the media’s mind is probably made up with Rose. The mischievous smile returns.

Around the Web

  • cruz

    your are so stupid it’s not funny.

    • Brandon LaChance

      Well Cruz,

      I think you meant, you’re so stupid. It’s kind of ironic you call me stupid. Second of all, you sound like a Derrick Rose fan who can’t admit the truth. I love Rose and he’s having a fantastic season, but Howard is having a better one.

      All the proof is in this article and John Hollinger’s “The Derrick Rose Story”. Facts don’t lie.

      • boats

        MVP is a stat award then? Take rose off the bulls and replace him with westbrook or D.willams and the bulls are maybe 6 or 7 seed. Rose is not supposed to win the MVP because he is to young? C’mon man

      • Freddy

        How could you say that the article has the proof and the facts don’t lie? How is Howard the MVP when he doesn’t make his teammates better? How is it that when he is out, along with James, Nowitski and many others their teams SUCK! A true MVP of the league picks up his team and his teammates and makes them better! The coaching has a lot to do with it as well, but this article is flawed and only has a shred of proof of why ROSE shouldn’t be the MVP! He intimidates just about every player on every team and they are all concerned about where he is on the court and are double and triple teaming him and that’s why other guys get open and he dishes the ball and they circle it around until someone is wide open and they get easy baskets! They get better on defense when he is out, because the coach puts in certain players to just defend and get teams on their heals and get them tired while ROSE, BOOZER, NOAH, DENG can get a rest! I can go on and on, but I don’t need to, if you watch basketball with an open mind and see many games you will see what i’m talking about!!! ENOUGH SAID!!!

  • biongo

    Enjoyed the piece, but that doesn’t stop it from being a bad piece….
    For example, you mention that Rose is easily replaceable by other superstars, then proceed to say that Miami lost to the Bucks because they didn’t have Wade. Well, if you were to replace Wade with a player close to his calibre, you would nautrally get a similar performance from that player. Same thing with Dwight Howard, Dirk, etc….
    The argument is unbelievably empty, as there is no way to ever come close to accurately testing the theory in any meaningful way.

    I will agree that the 2005 and 2006 MVP awards to Nash were league “gimmies” as opposed to earned awards, but Rose is definitely this year’s MVP.

  • boats

    Bulls are the number one seed.That say’s it all. MVP is not a stat award.

  • Brett

    How is Rose just a story? He’s looking at being only the 5th player in the HISTORY of the NBA to go 25, 8, and 4. The others? Names like Oscar Robinson and Michael Jordan. When you’re in a category with those guys…again…how are you NOT the MVP?

  • I took Rose’s ACT for him

    1st off, dont hate on cruz cuz his spellings off a lil. if i had a dime for every article i’ve read on yardbarker thats full of spelling miscues and grammatical errors, i could probably pay off james harrisons fines from the nfl. and those are people who claim to be “professional bloggers,” not some random joe schmoe responding to your shitty john hollinger dick sucking article. with that said, i understand your (his) points, but if your (his) logic is that he didn’t do it alone, then maybe they should just stop handing out mvp trophies, cuz no1 does it alone. last time i checked every1s got 4 teammates on the court with them. why don’t you come up with something original, rather than summarizing another writers’ article. also, i’m baffled by how u can say howard has no supporting cast, when he has 8, count em 8 teammates averaging double digits in points per game. Drose, he’s only got 3. get real, he deserves mvp.

  • Kyle


    Let me tell you why you are wrong here. First of all the MVP award goes beyond what their game and talent level displays. It also includes an upstanding individual, such as Derrick Rose. Dwight Howard is leading the league in technicals this year, whereas Rose picked up his first technical foul EVER in his life on December 15. Derrick night in and night out goes about his business without ever wasting any thoughts or time on the refs. Dont get me wrong Dwight Howard is a great player, but I just feel that the MVP stands for something more than that. Also, I would have to disagree with you in saying that Howard has been doing it all himself this season. Jason Richardson has been playing out of his mind recently, and Jameer Nelson is still good for 13 points and 6 assist a night. JJ Reddick, Brandon Bass, Hedo Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis, and Vince Carter are all averaging over 10 points a games, so to say he doesn’t have a supporting cast is false. I just feel as if Derrick Rose every night is the most valuable player to his team. Tell me one person who had the Bulls winning the 1 seed in the east before the season because all season long Rose has put the team on his back and taken them to a whole new level. That is why Derrick Rose is my MVP

  • http://YARDBARKER.COM RonO!

    Oh WOW!!!! Are you flippin serious !? I can tell there is definitely some denial in this post …. from the dude hating on Rose to the publisher thats a stats buff. lol Its funny though because all I keep hearing is stats stats stats , big men ,big men, big men! PLEASE ! Howard is good , I am not trying to take that from him .I give him his props and he has good numbers but come on guys ! REALLY !?!? …. he can barely hit a darn free throw when it counts the most! Obviously he is going to have good numbers if noone else on his team is as you say not contributing … whats he suppose to do sit down or step to the side when someone comes into his paint zone ?! AAAHHHH No ! Also those other big men mentioned all had personal issues so give us a break!(us meaning …anyone who is interested in this Rose vs Howard MVP talk ) SOOO If he can’t handle being a big man in this league and enduring what the MVP big men {Shaq,Robinson,The Dream, Barkley,THE Mail Man , Moses Malone ,Bill Walton,and Kareem ect. )of the past have endured for years then maybe he should switch positions or play football! hahaaa Yeah right!All of thee above mentioned former mvp big men…. except for Shaq “free throws”, could hit free throws and rain in the points at crunch time. ITS HIS JOB TO DEFEND THE BUCKET and body up and make stops ! Its his job to have those blocks and shut down anyone left to roam in the paint !ITS NOT LIKE HE’S SUPERMAN OR ANYTHING!lol Thats exactly why he gets paid the big bucks! It has nothing to do with who is helping who or who is on on who’s team . But has everything to do with who is coming up BIG when it matters the MOST ! MAKING FREE THROWS is a big part of that as well as making key shots at thee end of games and or reeling off 12 to 18 points in a quarter to get your loosing or falling behind team back in the game for a W . Creating and making shots when noone else can or is doing so.He rarely delivers when its crunch time! And he wines more than all you Rose haters out there! So my point is …Rose does all of those things on a CONSISTENT BASIS. Of course he has an off game once in a while but he comes through and true when it counts most of the time and has the heart of a young MJ . Dont front people. You can not deny that Rose deserves the MVP this year .And not cause its a good story! PLEEEAAAASSSSS! But because no matter who is on the floor with him or against him HE IS GOOD ! He delivers! He creates ! He wills the game to go his way and takes over at will when it matters the most . And when he isnt scoring he is making everyone else around him good enough to win the games that need to be won and thats exactly what an MVP is. Dont get it twisted ! He is no fluke or just a mere “Great Story” ROSE is the MVP day in and day out ,game after game . There”s alot of good players out there but none of them are anything without their own respected or un respected team . Including D. Rose They are a team and D. Rose performs better with his team no matter who is in front of him than D. Howard does with his team no matter who is in front of him. So many factors mister stats guys. But one stat ya forgot to throw in there was D Howard has had solid teams but yet failed to produce that elusive championship and he is not beating Rose in the scoring department . Rose makes his guys better Howard has to have his guys make him better . ENOUGH SAID. DONT HATE ! GIVE THE MAN HIS PROPS AND HIS TROPHY !!!

  • droseismvp

    This is the absolute worst story ever and Derrick Rose is no doubt the mvp, no player is doing more to make their team better than he is with his team this year, he will prove it when he takes his talents and team to the championship!

  • Tim Claro

    Rose is so much more than just the league MVP this year. In a league full of cry-babies and floppers and jerks, Rose is the complete opposite. Rose doesn’t get the calls the LeBron and Kobe get, yet he goes out there and keeps doing his thing. How often does he cry to the refs about a call? How often does he flop in the paint or pretend like he got hit? How often does he call-out his coach, teammates or refs? Not very often. If ever.

    D-Rose is a winner because he plays fundementally sound ballplayer. He makes things happen better than anyone else in the game. He’s quick and ruthless in the paint. And now that he’s added a shooting game, he could average 30 ppg in a couple years.

    He is the epitome of humble. And an MVP shouldn’t be a loud-mouth show boat that cares more about individual numbers. An MVP should be what Derrick Rose is.

  • Ban7414

    I’m a Bulls fan and a Rose fan afterall he’s from Chicago he plays for The Bulls and he’s from my Englewood neighborhood but besides all that i look at everything when you consider M.V.P. he’s confident yet humble he does it for the team not like LeBron,or Dwight Howard these chest thumping attention grabbers are only doing it for themsevles and when their team loses they oh it’s not my fault i scored 30 points even when D.Rose team wins he’s still looking to improve to me that’s my opinon of an M.V.P. a man you can respect on and off the court