- McDonald's All-American, representing Chicago's Simeon Career Academy, in his final year of high school, 2007.
- Third-team All-American, representing the University of Memphis, in his first and only year of college ball, 2008.
- First player selected in NBA draft, 2008.
- NBA Rookie of the Year, 2009.
- NBA All-Star in his second year in the league, 2010.
- All-Star Game starter and a serious contender for the Most Valuable Player award in his third year in the league, 2011.
This site usually focuses on players, teams, and events from decades ago, but in Rose we are witnessing Chicago sports history being made before our eyes. Rose is a player that Bulls fans will be talking about decades from now. He is everything that you'd want in a superstar. In addition to his amazing talent, Rose has the complete package of intangibles. He is confident, dedicated, selfless, focused, dignified, mature--use any adjective you want. "If you don't see something special in Derrick Rose," Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said, "then you're blind."
By Reinsdorf's definition, Horace Grant is not blind. The former Bulls star was talking to reporters the other day in anticipation of the ceremony this coming Saturday in which he and his teammates from the 1991 championship team will be honored. Though he wasn't asked, Grant felt compelled to talk about Rose. "Derrick Rose--wow!" he exclaimed. "What a humble star! I haven't seen one of those like that in my era. How humble is that kid and how great is he and will he be. That's one young man I will seek out to shake his hand."
During his career, Grant played with greats such as Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Shaquille O'Neal, and Kobe Bryant, so he knows an all-timer when he sees one. None other than Jordan himself also has expressed admiration for Rose. "MVP of the season," Jordan declared. "He deserves it. He's playing that well. He deserves it, without a doubt."
If Rose does win the award, which looks more likely every day, he will be the youngest MVP ever, at the age of 22. "The award," he said, "it will come if we keep winning. But we're just trying to play hard, play together, and keep playing aggressive and play with an edge."
Under first-year coach Tom Thibodeau, the Bulls have exploded into the ranks of the very best teams in the league. They are 45-18 for the season, and they are 8-0 in their most recent meetings with the other top teams, including two recent wins over the Miami Heat, who considered the championship to be a foregone conclusion after loudly signing LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh last summer.
There's a long way yet to go, but Rose and the Bulls haven't been shown any reason to doubt that they are legitimate contenders."I think the sky's the limit for us right now," said Rose. "Who's to say that we can't win it this year?"