Derrick Rose has been a scorer in the NBA because that's what the Bulls needed from him to win. But he does know how to be a point guard in the traditional sense.
For most of his basketball playing life, Derrick Rose has played point guard.
He did so in the “traditional” sense in high school and college where was more concerned with seeing the floor and setting up his teammates than getting his own numbers.
But Vinny Del Negro, Rose's first coach in the NBA, turned him into a scorer because that's what the team needed from him in order to achieve success. ...And it worked.
When Del Negro was fired in 2010 and Tom Thibodeau was brought in, the formula remained the same: Derrick Rose is the No. 1 scoring option and everyone else plays off him. As a result, Rose won MVP in 2011 by being one of the most unstoppable offensive forces in the game.
He also led the Bulls to the best record in the NBA in 2011 and helped put up a +21 in the win column over the previous two seasons under Del Negro while simultaneously transforming the Bulls from a “good” team to one of the NBA's most elite squads.
But because of the individual achievement and success the team has experienced due in large part to his athletic ability, critics often proclaim Rose as overrated because he doesn't impact the game while playing in the mold of “true” point guard. Most people feel he's nothing more than a shooting guard playing the point and have suggested he move off the ball.
It's a silly criticism when you consider that those making this claim don't realize this current style of play isn't his first choice and they also probably never paid much attention to him before he got to the NBA.
His four year averages at Simeon Career Academy are 21.1 points and 8.2 assists per game. In fact, during his last three years of high school he averaged over 8 assists per game playing with far less talented players than he does now in the NBA.
In the 2007 Illinois State Championship game, Rose scored 2 points, dished out 8 assists and grabbed 7 rebounds and finished his senior season with per game averages of 25.2 points, 8.8 assists and 9.1 rebounds.
And while his season averages during his lone year at Memphis reflect otherwise, people tend to forget he dropped 21 points and 9 assists versus Texas in the Elite 8 and 18 points and 8 assists against Kansas in the championship game.
When he comes back from his injury, Derrick Rose has nothing to prove to anyone.
But in case you were wondering or had doubts, he can and does know how to be a “traditional” point guard. That's the way he learned to play the game from the beginning and it's just like riding a bike; you never forget.