Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Every Rose Has Its Thorns

Let's get one thing straight. Derrick Rose is going to make a top 5 lottery team extremely happy next summer. After seeing him live a few weeks ago, I could see that Derrick Rose had more raw talent than anyone else on the court that night, with the possible exception of his Memphis teammate Chris Douglas-Roberts. However, I could see that Derrick Rose has a lot of maturing to do if he wants to take his game to the next level.

Over the years, I have given LeBron James a hard time at times because of his unselfish play on the court. Up until the Eastern Conference Playoffs last year, LeBron reminded me of the good-hearted star high school basketball player who is playing 3-on-3 basketball during gym class. He gets no pleasure from dominating three scrubs from the chess team so his sole mission is to get the other two kids on his team involved as much as possible. The star would be reluctant to take shots because he wants to give the other kids a chance to be a star. LeBron was that guy, trying to get people like Daniel Gibson and Larry Hughes involved in the offense instead of dominating defenses that can't stop him. While this is a quality to be admired in gym class, in the NBA, sometimes you need to have a little Kobe in you.

Derrick Rose's problem is that he has a bit too much Kobe in him. Everything about his gameplay just screamed primadonna. Rose would put his head down and drive the lane against the big men of UConn. His kick-outs almost seemed as if a last resort. Coach Cal pulled Rose aside during a timeout and gave him a tongue-lashing for his play on the court. If Derrick Rose can adopt more a "team" attitude, I can see the Memphis Tigers cutting down the nets come early April.

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