First of all if you haven't seen the CNN 90-second special interview with Derrick Rose, here it is:
As a lifelong Bulls fan, I loved hearing Rose's comments. Yes, they are completely false, and any Eastern Conference fan can note that King James is pretty untouchable in that department. However, it's also important to note how CNN's package was lackadaisically strewn together in such a way that it explicitly attempts to deface Chicago's superstar.
As you can tell from the package, Rose answers the question of "who the best player in the league is" with himself. Yes, most will see this as arrogant for a player - even at Rose's caliber - who refused to play after being medically cleared over a month before the end of the season. That being said, I was in Rose's corner the entire season - I, like many, still think he made the right decision.
What troubles me about these comments is that they're no way indicative of Derrick's character both on and off the court. Rose was the headless horseman of the NBA last season, expertly navigating the media and multitude of rumors centered on the speculation of a "return." For as long as Rose has been a superstar, he has rarely gone out of his way to glorify his accomplishments, which quite frankly he has a few of:
-NBA Most Valuable Player (2011)
-NBA Rookie of the Year (2009)
-3x NBA All-Star (2010-2012)
-NBA Skills Challenge Champion (2009)
-Illinois Mr. Basketball (2007)
...and the list goes on. Some media outlets will undoubtably skew the comments into some sort of rivalry-ignition for the season opener against Miami, which looks to be one hell-of-a way to start the 2013-2014 season. For Chicago loyalists though, these comments should serve as the spark and not the igniter fluid, the flicker that Bulls fans everywhere have been waiting for, the return of our superstar.