Wow. I feel good and bad about sharing this publicly. I wrote this post Monday and Tuesday then read the Hollinger article here Thursday evening at halftime of the Spurs-Celtics game. (It’s ESPN Insider only, sorry.) I’ve been trying to write more frequently so I will have enough to post between 3 and 5 times a week. That often means writing something then holding it for a few days. Unfortunately, what I wrote now pales in comparison to what the professional ESPN writer shared AND covers some of the same ground. Such is life. Enjoy anyway! And hey, mine is shorter!
Derrick Rose is being anointed the MVP of the NBA and it’s a bit amusing because it’s clear Rose is not the best player in the league. There’s a very good chance he won’t even make first team All-NBA this year. With around ten games left, I’d have Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade at guard.
There seems to be a widespread media narrative indicating the D Rose should be the MVP and nothing has changed that narrative since the All-Star Break. Particularly considering how much statistical analysis is impacting the NBA, I have a strong feeling that in a couple years, the D Rose MVP will feel like the Steve Nash back to back MVPs of the last decade. Everyone will wonder what mass psychosis led to that decision making. We’re seeing lots of parallels between the two situations I think. Unexpected team success, a player’s rapid jump from the fringe All-Star to All-NBA levels and no signature performance from a competitor. (The Iverson MVP and Kidd runner-up seasons follow similar patterns.)
Rose has been a superb player for the Bulls this year and, seemingly, everything has worked out well for the Bulls. They are clearly ahead of schedule and have their own Big 3 with Rose, Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer, all of whom complement each other well and for whom there is a defined pecking order. The Bulls are the anti-Heat in some important respects. This all helps Rose’s candidacy, as does the substantial failings of the post-Jordan Bulls franchise. Everyone wants Chicago to be a title contender again.
Overall, Rose has clearly been the best story in the NBA this year. Does that mean he’s been the best player or the most important? Well, if I were Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki or Kobe Bryant, I might not feel that way.
My guess is that in 2014, most folks won’t feel that way either.