Rose's All-Star selection has historic significance


Jan 29

Now that Derrick Rose is an All-Star one question is whether it will hurt the Bulls the rest of the season.

Not that everyone among the Bulls and their fans isn’t thrilled and happy for Rose. But it suddenly becomes a long weekend toward the end of a long season and just before the traditional playoff strerch run.

And for Rose maybe longer than for anyone in NBA history.

Rose will participate in the rookie/sophomore game Friday, the skills challenge Saturday, in which he is defending champion, after an open All-Star practice for fans, and then the All-Star game Sunday before what is expected to be an all time record 100,000 attendance.

I checked with the NBA and there isn’t exactly detailed record keeping on all the All-Star weekend contests as some have changed over the years. For example, there used to be a seniors’ game until too many players were injured during it. But the NBA could not find a record of anyone participating in three events and one every day during the weekend.

And there’s no getting out of anything.

At one time, if you were scheduled for the rookie/sophomore game and then picked for the All Star game you could back out of the rookie/sophomore game. No more. The NBA now requires participation in both games if you are picked for either. And, in Rose’s case, both. You could land a suspension without a good medical excuse.

Rose is only 21, and his family members keep a close watch on him and he’ll likely get enough rest for the weekend to be ready for the unofficial second half of the season.

I talked to him on this trip about his frequent movie viewing and he said he been through many in his collection and was out with a few of his teammates to see some of the new movies, though he gave only an OK to the much hyped Avatar. He did give it a Siskel thumbs up, though it wasn’t quite enough action, which he prefers. Yes, he’s a kid. So it’s been a delight to experience his joy at making the All-Star team.

It officially raises his standing among his peers, though they knew how good he is. I know Bulls fans would like him to do some free agent recruiting when he’s in Dallas, though Rose isn’t that kind of person. I can see him as the kid with his face pressed up against the window of the NBA toy store with a big smile and taking it all in. But that he is there will make an impression on his peers, particularly those who don’t know him and what a terrific teammate he can be, respectful, earnest and talented. It’s the team’s best recruiting poster possible.

It’s also something of a historic achievement for a Bulls player. No one other than Michael Jordan made the All-Star team in just his second season and no Bulls player—even Jordan–ever made the All-Star team at such a young age.

Plus, among the young stars of this era, no one has been an All-Star more quickly. The NBA coaches are saying, in effect, how great they believe Rose can be.

Tim Duncan and Shaq did make it as rookies. But Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Brandon Roy and LeBron James made it in for the first time also in their second seasons.

Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, Amare Stoudemire and Chris Bosh made it in their third seasons.

Carmelo Anthony and Dirk Nowitzki made it in their fourth seasons.

Hello, Derrick, welcome to the elite. Get some rest. You and the Bulls are going to need it for that stretch run.

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