Monday, February 21, 2011

Derrick Rose Is More Exciting Than Blake Griffin

I know that most NBA fans will find the title of this article blasphemous.  They'll think, "Blake Griffin is so cool.  He dunks it really hard.  That's excitement personified."  Okay, they probably wouldn't use the word personified, but you get the point.  Almost all NBA fans love Blake Griffin.  Now don't get me wrong, I think Blake's a great player, and I enjoy watching his hustle.  But as I watched a highlight video of him this year, I realized something:  He isn't that exciting.  If you want to watch, here it is for all to enjoy:
Imagine going to a Clippers game.  Blake Griffin would inevitably dunk, and you could say that you saw Blake Griffin dunk.  But if someone asked you to describe that dunk, you’d probably say that it was the one where he dunked it really hard, and that's about it.  It’s cool that he dunks, but it’s a dunk.  It’s fun, but dunkers come and go.  Let’s face it, unless you’re a hardcore fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes, you probably don’t think about Thunder Doug Thomas very often.
On the other hand, Derrick Rose’s plays are timeless.  They make your jaw drop.  Plus, they’re fun as hell to describe.  You can actually show your friends what he did, which you can't do with a Blake Griffin dunk.  Now, will you do Rose's moves much slower and way more awkwardly?  Of course you will.  But you can position your friends as defenders, show your slow ass crossover move, spin past a third guy, and go in for an easy layup. Just so everyone has a visual, here's a random D-Rose highlight video.
If you compare their highlight videos, it’s not even close.  Blake Griffin’s is dunk, dunk, another dunk, an alley-oop dunk, a two handed dunk, a windmill dunk, another dunk, and a dunk.
Derrick Rose's highlights involve steals, blocks, assists, rebounds, lay-ups, spin moves, crossovers, broken ankles, ball fakes, and of course, dunks.

But the real beauty of Derrick Rose is not watching his highlights, it's watching everything he does.  Derrick Rose is not the most God-gifted point guard in the league, but he's definitely the most fun to watch.  John Wall is more athletic than Derrick Rose.  Chris Paul is more technically skilled than Derrick Rose.  Deron Williams is physically stronger than Derrick Rose.  And Rajon Rondo is a far bigger douchebag than Derrick Rose could ever be. 

But you can watch any game that the Bulls have played this season, and no matter the situation, you'll find your eyes drifting towards D-Rose.  Part of that is that he's really learned to hustle on both ends of the floor, but part of it is something else.  When the Bulls need a boost, Derrick Rose has the killer instinct to do everything that is humanly possible to take over a game.  It doesn’t always work.  Otherwise the Bulls would be undefeated.  But it is one of the most exciting things to ever see a basketball player do.  As much as we all want to find that instinct in any of our favorite players, it’s an extremely rare thing for someone to have.  There are guys who can turn it on, but a guy who is able to bring it every single night is so special that you'll only see it once in a decade..  In the 80s, it was Bird.  In the 90s, it was Jordan.  It the 00s, it was Kobe.  Now, I’m certainly not ready to hand over the 10s to Derrick Rose in February of 2011, but he’s definitely the favorite.
Listen, Blake Griffin is an incredibly talented player.  He is already one of the most popular players in the NBA.  But he’ll never be the best, and if you actually enjoy watching the game of basketball, he’ll never be the most exciting either.  I’m not ready to crown D-Rose as the best player in the NBA, but he’s got that killer instinct that is rare to see, and nearly impossible to beat.  Because of that, there’s no one I’d rather watch play the game. 


P.S.  Even though I was not able to weave it into my post, I wanted to mention the admiration that Kobe has shown for Derrick Rose this year.  As skilled as Rose is, Kobe's admiration is because he sees his own killer instinct when he sees Rose.  I know a lot of people hate Kobe, but there is nobody who wants to win more than him...except for maybe Derrick Rose.

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