Maybe it wasn’t Iman Shumpert’s opinions on Derrick Rose himself, but they were about his shoes and about him as a competitor, which is basically the same thing.
Shumpert is known for his sense of style, so when asked about whether or not he would wear Rose’s new shoes either on the court or on the streets, he said no. His response was based on his perception of his opponents and hit a high point when he said that he didn’t like anyone except the people on the team when the ball goes up. Here’s the thing though: this doesn’t matter! You’re supposed to be vicious to your opponents when the game starts–not in a violent way, but in a competitive way, and the fact that so many fans donned Shumpert as if he was the epitome of basketball genius is silly.
He said exactly what any other athlete would say when asked about their competitive nature and the only reason that this resonates with Chicago Bulls fans is because Rose was mentioned. Now, I think that if Shumpert were approached with a multi-million dollar deal to wear Rose’s new sneakers, he would jump on the chance, but that’s just me. The bottom line is that it makes no difference. I can guarantee Rose doesn’t mind and I can promise that Rose feels the same way on the court.
Unlike Kevin Durant, who has been often criticized for his friendliness amongst his toughest competitors (LeBron James), players should approach opponents with a little bit of a grudge. They should treat each other as enemies because when it comes down to it, they are enemies. Despite James and now teammate Dwyane Wade being close friends throughout both their careers, they were enemies when their respective teams played each other. That’s what competitive nature is and Shumpert’s opinion on it is nothing out of the ordinary. The fact that so many treated his words as if they were daggers is in poor taste and, again, is just silly.
The only thing linking Shumpert to Rose is that they both tore their ACLs and they are both instrumental in re-sparking a rivalry between the Bulls and the New York Knicks. Other than that, his words aren’t important and shouldn’t be treated as such.