By Shawn Muller–
John Hollinger, a writer for ESPN.com, is adamant that Derrick Rose does not deserve to win the NBA’s MVP Award this season.
Instead, he believes Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic deserves the honor.
I have no problem with anyone voicing their opinion, or preference, when discussing who should or should not win post-season awards.
Everyone is entitled to do so.
What bothers me is not Hollinger’s endorsement of Dwight Howard for the honor.
It is his total disregard for what D-Rose means to the Chicago Bulls.
Hollinger believes that the MVP of the league should go to the guy who is the “most irreplaceable” to his team.
Fine. I can buy that.
But is Dwight Howard any more “irreplaceable” to the Orlando Magic than Derrick Rose is to the Chicago Bulls?
I don’t think so.
It is true that a quality big-man is a rare commodity in the NBA these days, and Howard is definitely the best Center in the league.
I am not arguing otherwise.
But–using Hollinger’s line of reasoning–where would the Chicago Bulls be without Derrick Rose running the point?
No star player in the league has had to deal with as much as Rose has this season with Chicago. He has had to play over half of the schedule without Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah together on the floor at the same time due to injury.
But instead of cowering in the corner like a scared little mouse, Rose did what every true leader and “irreplaceable” player does during times of adversity: he made the other players better.
Luol Deng has played at a–seemingly–higher-level this season. Keith Bogans has played well. Omer Asik, Ronnie Brewer, C.J. Watson…everyone on the Bulls active roster has benefited from playing with a point guard like Derrick Rose this season.
A true leader makes everyone around him better, and Rose has done that. Chicago has had a 20-win turnaround from last season (good for the league’s best), they have won 60 or more games for the first time since MJ and Scottie were on the court at the United Center, and they are tied with the San Antonio Spurs for the best record in the NBA with just one game to go in the regular season.
Did the uptick in wins from last season to this year have to do with the players the Bulls front office brought in? Sure. But that can’t be the only reason. Franchises around the league bring in free-agents all the time (hello Miami Heat) and do not achieve instant success like the way the Bulls have this season.
Tom Thibodeau deserves credit as well. He has done a tremendous job in his first year as the Bulls head coach, and he should win the Coach of the Year Award. But without Derrick Rose running the point, there is no way this team wins 60 games…
Flat-out. End of discussion.
As D-Rose goes, so do the Bulls.
He doesn’t whine and complain when a call doesn’t go his teams’ way. He doesn’t throw a tantrum every time he feels he was fouled and there is no call. He is a quiet assassin who goes about his business on the floor without the crybaby antics that so many stars often display. He has two technical fouls in his young career compared to Howard’s 65, has never been ejected from a game, nor has he ever had to serve a suspension that could possibly put his team in a compromising situation.
Can Dwight Howard say the same thing?
No he can’t.
There is no question that Dwight Howard IS the Orlando Magic, and he is one hell of a basketball player.
No way would I say otherwise.
But as far as a player being the “most irreplaceable” to his team this season…no one has been more “irreplaceable” than Derrick Rose.
Do you agree with Shawn? Post your comments below.
Shawn Muller has lived in the great city of Chicago for 7 years. He is a 2002 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and, in October of 2010, Shawn received his certificate in radio broadcasting. In his free time, Shawn enjoys spending time with his wife Melissa and 3 year old daughter Ava, catching any live sporting event, and traveling. Check out his radio show, Grab Some Bench with Muller and Bangser” every Thursday night at 8:30 P.M., at www.blogtalkradio.com/spmuller24.