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A Note on D.Rose’s “Leadership”

March 23, 2011
Last night, as usual, there was debate about Derrick Rose.

Daily Dime Live Chat - 3/22/11 (source:

I think Zach’s response is kind of a cop out – sure, you can’t really quantify leadership, which is why we have hordes of books, consultants, and personality tests all with the goal of figuring out the magical combination of traits that will inspire a group of followers.  Yet, what is the, “it”, that Zach refers to?  If he’s saying that you can’t quantify leadership, then why would it matter that how much of “it” that Noah and Thibs are doing?  What really should matter is the quality of the leadership – regardless of what traits you may think are necessary in a great leader, my guess is that everyone will agree that trust is the ultimate indicator of whether a team believes in a leader.  And if you use that as a measuring stick of LeBron vs. D.Rose as leaders, whose team trusts their leader more?

During a recent Bill Simmons’ podcast with Trent Dilfer, Trent tells a story about what he thought was the defining trait of a good quarterback.  He talked about how Mark Sanchez seemed to have that intangible quality of leadership where in a room full of alphamales and quarterbacks, they would naturally toss the keys to him if they were all going out for a drive.  I was reminded of this last night while I listened to Bill Simmons’ podcast with Steve Kerr.  Steve recalled this year’s All-Star team, where it was evident that players, these amazing all-star players, elected Derrick Rose to be their captain.  Not because he’s the most vociferous or even the most skilled, but because they all know that all he wants to do is win (“wee-un”) and he will do whatever it takes to accomplish that.

This all leads me to believe that Derrick’s style of leadership will simply transcend many of the things that we believe about current NBA athletes.  He’s the antithesis of the flashy, selfish, and greedy player that has sometimes unfairly become the image of the NBA.  Instead, D.Rose might be able to prove that you can say more by saying less.  And win by knowing when to do less in order to accomplish more, such as passing to the open guy.  Kind of like some other great Chicago Bull.  After all, trust is a two-way street.  A great leader is also defined by knowing who to trust and when to trust them.  D.Rose doesn’t care about his own stats.  In both mental and physical ways, D.Rose is not your average athlete.  When Joakim Noah says that D.Rose is a big reason why he signed on for five more years, when Brian Scalabrine says that D.Rose is the best teammate he will ever have, and when every single Bull has no problem saying that D.Rose is their MVP, there might be a common theme.

As we move into the final stretch of the regular season and into the real season, it’s clear that D.Rose’s leadership is evolving and growing stronger.  When he says that he doesn’t forget, you believe.  When he says that he doesn’t care if he has three points or thirty points, you believe.  When he says that he wants to beat a team and step on their throats while they’re down, you believe.  And that is why, if you’re not with D.Rose, you’re…going to get trampled by the Bulls.


Side note, when we posted about our 10 ways to tell when it’s a Bulls’ blowout, I didn’t think we’d get a chance to take the rules for a test drive the very next night.  Thanks to the Atlanta Hawks for helping us out with that – still no photographic evidence of Thibs sitting (and two nights in a row!) but you’ve got to believe the rumors!

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