I keep watching the replay of Derrick Rose’s basket to beat the New York Knicks, in Rose’s first home game in over a year, and all I can think about is this.
Michael Rand of the Star Tribune spotted similar, end-of-game plays from Derrick Rose and LeBron James last season. Each player was double teamed off a pick. LeBron dropped a pass off to Udonis Haslem for a wide open, more than justified shot. Rose attacked the double, drove left, beat both defenders, then took a wild shot over a third help defender.
Haslem missed. Rose didn’t.
I remember the hubbub online. Some people attacked LeBron, others defended him for making the “right basketball play.”
It all misses the point. Derrick Rose wanted to decide the game. He wanted it all on him. There’s a fine line between your leader putting the game on his shoulders, and playing with blinders on, but both take guts. And Derrick Rose has guts.
Now, watch the shot above. Rose doesn’t lose Raymond Felton. Raymond Felton is right there. Matter of fact, that is the best defense Raymond Felton has ever played. And the other guy is Tyson Chandler, the 7’1”, former Defensive Player of the Year. That is, by most accounts, an awful shot, but I don’t care. And neither does Rose.
Simply put: Derrick Rose genuinely believes, with the game on the line, he is Chicago’s best option to win. Whether he’s right or wrong, that’s fearlessness.
I think that’s at the heart of why I love Derrick Rose, of why anyone loves Derrick Rose. It’s the reason we were all sad when he went down, and the reason we cheered his return. Derrick Rose is fearless, and isn’t that what we all want to be?