To this point in the very young season Derrick Rose has been more than I thought he would be. His scoring average is up, his 2-point FG% is about normal and he is finding his 3-point stroke. Even more impressive is that the 6 assists per game guys is currently at 8.5 per game; and that is after the recent Deng/Gibson brick fest to start the circus trip. His defense is definitely improved (though still a work in progress) and above all else his leadership is off the charts. Only Coach Thibodeau is consistently louder on the court. Frankly I never thought it was possible for Derrick to be such a vocal figure. But he cannot limit his talking to his teammates.
There is another audience his voice must reach and perhaps this audience is the most important one of all; the officials. 25.2 points a game on 20.6 shots is pretty good for a guy who cannot buy a call from the officials (and if buying a call is possible then I... nevermind.) It takes hard falls and bloody noses in order for Derrick to get the calls he should be getting regularly. There is the notion that Rose 'avoids contact', something I steadfastly disagree with. I think their is a difference between trying to make your shot and trying not to be touched. And even if there is some truth to that notion, what incentive is their for him to go for contact when he does not get the most obvious foul calls? This team is dead on their feet if they lose Rose to a serious injury. So the only hit Derrick needs to take right now a blow to his wallet.
He won't feel much of a hit from it. He may not have his max contract yet but number 1 pick rookie money is not bad, not to mention the endorsements he is slowly stockpiling. So now is the time to speak out. It is time he talks to the media the first chance he gets. I am not asking him to come out and say it at random, but I am sure he gets asked about the lack of respect regularly. I know the Chicago media wants him to get it. So when next asked, he can make it simple. He does not have to be Rasheed about it. He just needs to let everyone know that he is taking these shots and not getting calls and he is tired of it. Then let the monkeys at ESPN do the rest. $25,000 fine from Stern? Take it. I know it is not my money and perhaps I have not the right to tell a young millionaire what to do with it. But I am a fan and this is what fans do. We are obnoxious know-it-alls.
Come on, Derrick Rose. Channel your inner Phil Jackson and let loose some back-handed compliment to let the refs know they need to get you some respect. It may not be your style, but the difference between 25 a game and 28 a game could add up to a few more wins... and a few more MVP votes.