This week's SBNBA theme entry fits in well with the news of the week, or what little there is of it.
Michael Beasley was released by the Suns, and like whenever something bad happens with B-Easy (and it happens a lot!) there is a Bulls connection with how the Bulls chose Derrick Rose over Beasley first overall in the 2008 draft.
By my recollection, there really wasn't much of a choice. When the Bulls improbably won the lottery that season it was pretty much a given with the hype surrounding Derrick Rose that he'd be the pick, and 75% of the BaB readership at the time wanted him (myself included).
That hype wasn't entirely due to skill or performance, it raised as the legend of Chicago's very own Humblebot grew. I wrote back in that summer about the importance of 'character' in that draft selection, a topic I usually don't pay much mind to but what I felt was especially pertinent when talking about the potential future face of a franchise. Rose looked to have those other qualities in a way Beasley didn't, and it's certainly shown in the time since that the red flags over Beasley were justified. By the time of the draft, the Rose approval rating was up to 83%. I don't think it was as much of a consensus nationally as it was locally: if Bulls fans were trying to compare the two, the intangible benefits of selecting Rose was always going to be a tiebreaker at worst.
Rose has certainly lived up to the hype as a franchise player, but that was far from guaranteed at the time. Beyond the debate considering Beasley, the idea of Rose as a clear-cut superstar was put into question early with ideas of trading the pick for someone more established. And after he was drafted, not only did the Bulls downplay their marketing of the kid, John Paxson very publicly put forth the idea that Rose would be a bench player as a rookie.
So in a way, Rose actually exceeded the hype: improving his game every season to where he upped his projection from a flawed shoot-first PG (no range, can't get to the FT line, poor court vision...there were valid -to a degree- complaints) to All-Star and later the MVP. Even when you have the first overall pick and avoid busts like Beasley, there is a large spectrum between the mere star player and the type of guy who can be the best player on a championship team. Derrick Rose got to that level, and thus exceeded the hype.
And now Rose and that word are at a crossroads again. The eye-rolling misfire of #TheReturn was the case of hype gone wrong, and now there is a wide range of expectations of the post-ACL-surgery Derrick Rose. That's how you get something like this and this in the same week.
I wouldn't say there's an incorrect level either way on the 'hype' around Derrick Rose this season, because there's rightfully still a lot of uncertainty. Rose and the team have pretty much kept us in the dark this summer (we have confirmation Rose didn't play in any pick-up games) when it comes to his rehab, so hype fills in that void. But like at other points in his career, I'm guessing seeing the journey unfold will be worth whatever headaches the hype surrounding it has brought.