By: David Schuster–

CHICAGO (WSCR) A very humble man was indeed humbled when he received the NBA’s Most Valuable Player Award Tuesday. Derrick Rose rarely (if ever) appears cocky, and he was far from it when he became the youngest ever to win the MVP. It was a landslide win by the Bulls guard as well it should have been. Rose received 113 of the 121 first place votes far outdistancing Dwight Howard who finished second.

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Rose averaged 25 points, nearly 8 assists and 4 rebounds during the regular season, but where he wrapped up this award was when he kept his team winning while key teammates were out with injuries. Both Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer were out for over 30 games yet the Bulls never missed a beat, and that was due to Rose.

It has been a meteoric rise from the hometown kid over the last 6 years. He won back to back state titles at Simeon Career Academy High School and then almost led Memphis to the NCAA title in his only year in college. The Tigers finished runner up to Kansas.

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Following his one collegiate year, Rose was the top overall pick in the NBA Draft, and fortunately the Bulls landed him. He became the league’s Rookie Of The Year and then named to the All-Star team in his second season. He followed that up this season by being the first Bulls All-Star starter since you know who (Michael Jordan) and sandwiched in a gold medal as part of Team USA at the World Championships.

And now he’s the MVP, playing very near to where he grew up. There have been some great players from Chicago. Names like Isiah Thomas, Cazzie Russell, Doc Rivers, Maurice Cheeks, Mark Aguirre and Terry Cummings, just to name a few. But Rose is right up there with all of them, and he’s just 22-years old. The present is bright and the future could be brighter.

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As for the near future…(Wednesday night’s game), Rose says his sprained ankle will be fine. He was limping a bit at practice Tuesday but he participated in all the drills and expects to be near 100% by game time. He’ll have to be, and he’ll need his teammates to play much better because the Bulls (again) are in a battle. Atlanta now has confidence after winning Game 1, so the Bulls need to step it up much like their star (Rose) did this whole season.