In a recent interview, Chicago Bulls star point guard Derrick Rose was asked who he thought the best player in the NBA once. He was confident in his answer. He even repeated his answer so that the interviewer knew that he was serious. It was an answer that Rose believes is true. His answer: Derrick Rose.
Partially because this is a slow time regarding news in the NBA world and partially because a lot of people like to overblow things, this quickly became a story. Everyone was asking whether or not he was right or wrong for saying that he was the best player in the league and asking if it was a logical assertion on his part.
However, while everyone was busy making a story out of Rose’s comments, they forgot to ask probably the most important question: should what he said even be a story at all?
There is a constant need to pick everything any high-profile athlete says and does, even if it’s not something that’s necessarily bad. Given that rather recent phenomenon and the fact that Rose has come under a ton of scrutiny lately for not returning from his ACL injury last season, Rose is more or less a lightning rod in this situation when he really shouldn’t be.
There’s no denying Rose’s ability as a basketball player and the fact that he’s near the top of the list of the best players in the league. In his 2010-2011 MVP season at just 22 years old, he averaged an incredible 25 points, 7.7 assists, 4.1 rebounds and one steal in 37.4 minutes per game while also shooting 44.5 percent from the field. He may not be the best, but he’s one of the best.
That’s not even what makes this situation not a story at all, though. There is a fine line between arrogance and confidence, but professional athletes toe that line. To be as successful as someone like Rose in professional sports, you have to believe that you are the best at your craft. No one has ever been a successful athlete by believing that they are kind of good or above average; these players believe they are the best in the game and that motivates them to play in that way.
Is Rose the best player in the league? Probably not because LeBron James is still breathing. However, it’s okay for Rose to believe that he is and say that he is. In the end, what he said shouldn’t matter. If 90 percent of NBA players answered the same question honestly, they would probably answer that question the same way.