Usually I have a rule of thumb that I won’t take someone too seriously if they have a tattoo on their head. However, I made an exception to my rule after reading one of Stephon Marbury’s tweets from last week. On September 9 Marbury tweeted “If Derrick Rose is 100 percent healthy, I have him being one of the best players in the NBA #HandsDown and that’s between Kobe (Bryant) and LeBron (James).”
Marbury knows a thing or two about being a successful point guard in the NBA which is why I don’t think his praise of Derrick Rose is too outlandish. I believe that Marbury, who made two NBA All-Star appearances and five playoff appearances, is very knowledgeable about the game (despite getting his brand’s logo tattooed on his head). Although this puts a slight amount of pressure on Rose to have a great year after missing the entire 2012-2013 campaign he should feel honored to receive praise from a player like Marbury.
If anything, this compliment should help rebuild some of Rose’s confidence. The 2011 MVP received more than a fair share of criticism last year for choosing to sit out the entire regular season as well as the playoffs. Despite being medically cleared to play by doctors, Rose decided to sit out the entire year, all while the rest of his team was playing through injuries to keep the team in playoff contention. This did not sit well with many fans and members of the media, and they were not shy voicing their opinions. All of a sudden Rose had gone from the most beloved Chicago Bull since Michael Jordan, to receiving a great deal of disrespect and criticism.
The estimated return date after tearing an ACL is around eight months and by the time Rose will make his much anticipated return in Chicago’s preseason opener he will have missed around 17 months. Therefore it is understandable why some were upset as Rose will have been out twice as long as originally planned. Thus, after receiving so much criticism it is finally nice to see Rose receive some positive feedback, especially coming from a former All-Star point guard like Marbury.
When we look back at the 2012-2013 season years from now I think there will be a strong consensus that Rose did the right thing by sitting out for the entire season. I also believe that Marbury’s statement and assessment of Derrick Rose could prove to be very accurate. Let’s not forget just how good Rose was when he was healthy. In 2011, the season in which he became the youngest MVP in league history, Rose averaged 25 ppg, 7.7 apg and 4.1 rpg while leading the Bulls to the best record in all of basketball. Sure at this point in time we don’t know if Rose will have the same explosiveness and agility that he had in 2011, but after rehabbing for about a year and a half I would expect that he will be close to MVP form soon enough.
All in all, it was nice to see Rose receive some praise after the former MVP’s popularity has fallen a bit over the past several months. Not only do I believe that Marbury’s claim that Rose is one of the best in the game right now is true, but I also believe that fans will be quick to forgive Rose once he makes his return. The reason why I expect fans to forgive Rose so quickly goes hand in hand with Marbury’s statement: Because when 100 percent healthy he is one of the best players in the league. Once Rose is back with the Bulls and once again proves to everyone that he is a winner and a superstar, Marbury’s statement will prove to be accurate and fans will forgive and forget about Rose’s decision to sit out the 2012-2013 season.
Jon Keller is a writer for rantsports.com Follow him on twitter @jkell2005