Derrick Rose has been named as a starter for the Eastern Conference in the 2011 NBA All-Star Game. Rose is the first Chicago Bulls’ player to be named as a starter since Michael Jordan in 1998.

“I’m feeling really loved right now and I appreciate all the support that helped me earn a starting position in the All-Star game,” Derrick Rose said. ” I want to thank all the fans that voted, especially the people from my hometown of Chicago.  I also want to give thanks to the Bulls organization that did a great job promoting me, and most of all I want to thank my teammates and coaches for putting me in this position.”

Rose passed up Boston’s Rajon Rondo on January 13 and moved into the starting lineup.

Rose has been in the middle of almost every discussion for MVP candidates this season. He’s averaging 24.6 points and 8.1 assists per game, both put him in the top ten of all NBA players.

More impressively has been the fact that Rose has lead the Bulls to a 31-14 record, good first in the Central Division and third in the Eastern Conference. And he’s done it through stretches without forward Carlos Boozer and center Joakim Noah.

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