The Leadership Woes of the Rose that Never Blossomed

Some would say Derrick Rose was as electric and exciting to watch as the GOAT himself.  For what felt like such a short period of time, Derrick was the man.  It only helped his case that he grew up in the troubled city of Chicago, born and raised with a knack for hard-nosed basketball.  His drive to the hoop tenacity embodied the theme of an inner city kid living his dream in the NBA. What nobody payed attention to, however, may have been Derrick Rose’s largest flaw, leading to not only his own demise, but the Chicago Bulls entire franchise.

Derrick Rose was an outstanding player, there is no doubt about that; however the fact that the Bulls let Rose act as the leader of the team, was their ultimate mistake.  Rose was never a talker, he was always shy.  He was often quoted saying, “I let my game speak for itself.”  The issue with Derrick Rose being so good, yet so quiet, has to do with the theme of building a franchise.  Every off-season of every professional sport involves at least one big name player travelling the country visiting all the potential teams and seeing what each one can offer them.  

One of the most important aspects of a team that someone like Peyton Manning or Lebron James looked for, was leadership, and the confidence that they could both have solid chemistry and win with the already present players.  When Lebron visited Miami, he was courted by every current and former legend the organization could offer.  Dwayne Wade, Alonzo Mourning, Udonis Haslem, and many more Heat names were present to show Lebron what he would be getting if he signed down in South Beach.  

Little do people remember that the Chicago Bulls were vying for Lebron’s talent at the same time.  They pitched to James, but were missing what the Heat had: a leader with the skills to convince Lebron.  They had the player for sure, Rose was coming off the second best season of his career, but he did not step up or attend any meeting with James when the opportunity presented itself.  Instead the Bulls struck out and received Carlos Boozer as their top grab during that notable summer.

In present times, the front office alone cannot compete with every team to try and court players.  The leaders and best players of the city must step in and play a substantial role in getting potential stars to sign.  

Rose had one more chance when Carmelo Anthony showed interest in the Chicago Bulls two summers ago.  It was believed Anthony was looking for a fresh start and a chance at an NBA championship.  He noted his trip to Chicago was missing one thing, Derrick Rose.  Anthony later stated after making his decision to resign with the New York Knicks that during his entire visit,  the Chicago Bulls former Most Valuable Player was nowhere to be found.  If Rose had enacted any effort into the pursuit of ‘Melo, the entire Bulls future may have looked entirely different.

Say Derrick Rose was a leader, and had made a good impression on Carmelo Anthony.  The Bulls would have put together an exemplary starting five, and would have potentially gone for the number one spot in the Eastern Conference.  Thibodeau would not have gotten fired, and there is a chance that Derrick, able to take a more reserved scoring role, does not put the wear of so much use on his body, and is able to build enough confidence to get back to his MVP caliber form.  

The Bulls become an instant favorite for at least four years and Chicago is able to finally feel confident like they once were in the 1990s.

The Bull’s franchise obviously is not what any fan could hope today.  At the very least, they have an actual leader in superstar Jimmy Butler, and he has done his fair share of attempting to woo various all-star players.  There is no way to predict the future of an NBA franchise, but had Derrick Rose been an outspoken leader, the entire NBA might have unfolded entirely different.  

Twitter: @matthewdewitte_

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