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The Most Enlightened Bulls Fans Don't Think Rose Is MVP

by Ricky O'Donnell on March 8, 2011 at 11:00AM

TUP always tries its hardest to be more signal than noise, and it's the reason we've stayed relatively quiet on the MVP race, even as a new writer/player/coach makes an opinion public every day. From here on out, though, it'll get increasingly more difficult. We wrote that Rose's MVP buzz was 'deafening' way back on January 4; I'm not sure what that makes the current climate. Vociferous? Toxic? You get the point: this is a cause near and dear to the Fanboy Army, and they aren't about to let you forget just how miserable the world would be without Derrick Rose. TUP isn't here to argue.

As this thing inches closer to completion, it's becoming obvious that Rose is the clear favorite for the award. Juwan Howard and Chris Bosh have voiced their endorsement -- even as their teammate LeBron James acts as Rose's biggest competition. Last night, Hornets coach Monty Williams joined the bandwagon, too.

So this is where we're at: the question isn't so much *will* Rose win, it's *should* he win. Surprisingly -- or not surprisingly, depending on how closely you follow this stuff -- most of the Internet's most enlightened Bulls fans don't think Rose is deserving. Let's go to the tweets. First up, Matt from Blog-a-Bull:


Next is an exchange between two Chicago Now Bulls bloggers. Doug Thonus -- who recently wrote a post endorsing Rose as MVP -- tweeted that he thought it was ridiculous a commenter asserted that there are six more worthy candidates for the award than Rose. Load o' Bull responds:
I'll give the final word to Yahoo's Kelly Dwyer, who had the most grounded take on all of this.

(Click to enlarge)

Dwyer is unapologetic about being a Bulls fan, though unlike the rest of us, his job requires objectivity. That is to say, he isn't part of the Fanboy Army. Still, it's a great take, and will likely be everyone's go-to defense mechanism if Dwight Howard or Dirk or LeBron somehow pass Rose before season's end.

It appears unlikely that that's going to happen, though. As LeBron watches his masculinity take a blow from any and every Jim Rose-esque personality, and Howard's team struggles to keep up with the conference's elite, Rose's grip seems to be tightening on the award. Don't discount the story, too, no matter how irrelevant it would be in an ideal world. If Rose has one thing going for him, it's the narrative: the whole "why can't I be MVP?" quote at the beginning of the season is storybook stuff, as is the "hometown boy as savior" angle. And let's not forget: the Bulls are really freaking good. Without another overpoweringly strong candidate, Rose may make the most sense.

Here's where I'm at: I want Rose to win MVP; I don't really care if he's the most deserving or the third most deserving. Perhaps it amounts to something close to basketball stupidity if he gets the award, but the world has survived bigger tragedies. Unless you fancy yourself as some type of basketball historian, I'm not sure why it matters so much to get it "right". These things get screwed up constantly, and in every sport. Why can't Chicago and D. Rose be on the receiving end this time?

47 Comments | Leave a comment

Is Rose THE best player in the league? Only besotted, Kool-Ade drinking fool would care to argue his case on that count.

But ... I think that MVP is an entirely different animal. Rose is undoubtedly the best and most valuable player on his team, and when considering an MVP candidate, I would think that one would have to factor into the equation where that team would be without said player.

In this respect, I think an argument could be made on Rose's behalf, for without him, they're the Cubs in shorts and sneakers.

Perhaps they should have two awards. Best Player in the NBA, (East or West) and MVP.

Nice blog dude . I like it very much

LeBron?? you take him off the Heat and add a couple of good role players they could have gotten for that money and I think the Heat are a better team....not MVP stuff. MVPs also should be hitting big shots when they count.

Derrick carried the Bulls while Joakim and Booz were out with injuries playing along side...wait for it....KIETH BOGGANS! Sure, Luol has been huge this year but what MVP doesn't have a great sidekick?

Derrick Rose has accomplished pretty much everything asked of him this year. Seriously, what else would he have to do?

All those bloggers(experts ? ) mentioned have had their predetermined view on Rose as not being the best player in the league, so it's not a surprise that this year isn't enough to sway their mindset.

I'll preface this by stating once again, that I'm not a big fan of King James. That said, how many GM's in the league would take Rose over LeBron even-up? Ditto for Kevin Durant, and Howard.

Personally, I'll take Rose in a one-on-one match-up with any of them, but that's my own, personal Chicago bias talking.

Thanks for letting me know you quoted me. Good post.

First, I understand homer-logic. It's fun. I just don't find it valid to analysis, for obvious reasons, and I'm only bothered when the selective bias is masqueraded as analysis.

Second, the homer-logic says the star of one's favorite team is MVP if that team is winning a lot. That can be true or false, but the passion and insulation of the rationale makes the truism lucky, not a discovery or proof.

As an analyst, I understand the case for Rose as MVP and don't think it's ridiculous. I only find it ridiculous when passion is paraded as analysis to say it's self-evident he's the MVP. What worse is that homer-logic is ignorant that there are hundreds of other players and 29 other teams in the NBA.

The award is relative value compared to all of those other players on all of those other teams. There's no scientific method to analyzing that value without a significant margin of error, so subjective elements -- even so far as interpretation of the award itself -- become entrenched in the conversation.

My point is that I still have yet to hear the argument that Rose is MVP that doesn't make Howard, Dirk, or (maybe) Durant as even better cases for the award when applied to those players. As the Bulls win more, Rose's case is better made, especially as the Heat lose. But that case is equally better made and further lost with the wins, losses, and productivity of those others.

Also, let's not forget that this conversation only exists in such volume because there's no definitive MVP candidate on the Celtics or Spurs and Dirk missed (what, nine?) games this year. If the case against Dirk is that he isn't much of a defender or rebounder, that case to negate Dirk proves Howard. If the argument is that they don't score enough in volume on a consistent basis, you prove Durant. If your argument is that Howard and Durant don't win enough, you prove Howard. If your argument's that none of them are as great all-around producers, you prove LeBron. The 'what if' arguments around how much the team would win without Rose proves Dirk, Howard, Durant, and LeBron over Rose when you ask, "What if the Central division wasn't a piece of shit?"

I've written quite a bit on all of these points and will sum them up as the season winds down, most likely, when a more serious analysis of the award can be applied to this season.

Rose has some things going for his campaign that the others don't. he is young and modest, which gives him a freshness the others lack esp LBJ. also, he and his team is most improved. If he wins it will have some of the same flavor that Nash's win(s) had. He's great and a great story. Maybe not the absolute best but nobody loves those guys that much and he's a great story.

though it depends a lot on how much the rest of the country is embracing his story. hard for me to gauge.

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