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An Open Letter and Apology to Derrick Rose

March 28, 2011

Hi Derrick,

I owe you an apology. At some point during the Milwaukee game on Saturday night, I tweeted that I had a bad, bad feeling about the game. This was sometime around the 3rd quarter when the Bulls were down about 15 points. The offense looked sloppy, stagnant and had no flow and everytime the Bulls would make some kind of run, the Bucks would come back and say “‘scuse you, we’re trying to make a playoff run for the 8th seed so GTFO of our way.”

And even though the Bulls have come back from being down to win games multiple times this season and you’ve proven time and time again that you’re able to put this team on your back and lead them to wins, I still wasn’t confident. I didn’t want to get my hopes up only to have them crushed in the process (see: March 18th game against the Pacers).

Boy did you prove me wrong.

With the last four minutes of the game remaining and the Bulls down by 3, you proceeded to crank out the following moves (written transcription courtesy of Blogabull):

4:09 Derrick Rose makes free throw 1 of 2 80-83
4:09 Derrick Rose makes free throw 2 of 2 81-83
3:36 Carlos Boozer makes layup (Derrick Rose assists) 83-83
2:50 83-87 Brandon Jennings shooting foul (Derrick Rose draws the foul)
2:50 Derrick Rose makes free throw 1 of 2 84-87
2:50 Derrick Rose makes free throw 2 of 2 85-87
2:28 Joakim Noah makes dunk (Derrick Rose assists) 87-87
1:53 Derrick Rose makes layup 89-87
1:07 Derrick Rose makes 13-foot jumper 91-87
0:42 Derrick Rose makes 14-foot jumper 93-87
0:29 Ronnie Brewer makes layup (Derrick Rose assists) 95-87
0:00 End of the 4th Quarter
0:00 End Game

By the end of the game, I was sitting in front of my computer in a daze, asking myself if I’d really witnessed what I’d just witnessed. Analysts, bloggers, beat writers, etc. frequently use the phrase, ‘put the team on his/her back’ (heck I used it a few paragraphs ago) but in this case, you really did. You saw that your team needed you and you were more than ready to take on that challenge, quite literally putting on a MJ-like performance in the process.

And the best part? After the game, you weren’t reveling in your phenomenal performance. Instead, you were dissatisfied and maybe even a little outwardly angry:

“I didn’t do shit yet,” Rose said in an uncharacteristic voicing of the edge he typically saves for games. “We’re a team that gets in the first round (of the playoffs) and loses. We’re trying to get past that.” (via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune)

You swore (although I don’t think your mom will approve)! You weren’t complacent. You knew that this regular season game didn’t really mean anything in the grand scheme of things because all it is is a win. That’s it. You know that what really matters is winning a playoffs series. And let’s be real, until a player has done that, the fact that one hasn’t somewhat undermines their other achievements.

But I digress. Basically what I’m trying to say here is that I’m sorry I ever doubted you, D. Rose. Shame on me. You are not one to speak empty truths and I should know better. You’ve given me ample reason this season to believe that your Bulls are contenders and are never really out of a game so please accept my apologies. Silly me. I am a noob and now won’t ever hesitate to believe that you and the 2010-2011 Chicago Bulls can’t win, win, win.



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