Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls waits for introductions against the Atlanta Hawks in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Phillips Arena on May 8, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Derrick Rose's 44-point explosion on Friday night was jaw-dropping, but it wasn't the most MVP thing that young star did all weekend. It was that he took the Bulls uninspired loss on Sunday on his shoulders.
Remember, a 22-year-old said that. A 22-year-old who came up with 34 points, four rebounds and 10 assists still said the loss was his fault. He didn't blame Carlos Boozer's invisible defense, Kyle Korver going 0-5 on three-pointers, Luol Deng's poor shooting, or even the ankle injury Keith Bogans sustained. He didn't complain about the physical style that Atlanta played, nor the suspect call near the end of the game.
No, he said, "Put this game on me." Not only is that impressive behavior, but it's one that deserves a reward. The trick is that only his teammates can give it to him.
His teammates owe him for his selfless words. Not money or gifts, but the kind of play that will make an MVP a champion. Take smart shots. Set some picks. Box out. Grab rebounds. Take care of him. When they do, Derrick Rose is capable of unbelievable performances, like the one he did in game three.
He's not only your MVP, but the kind of guy who takes the blame when you screwed up. That's a man to treasure.
Maggie Hendricks is a Chicago-based sports writer who spends most of her time penning witty entries for NBCChicago's Bears blog Grizzly Detail.
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