By S.C. Zuba
I’d be willing to bet you one thing right now: you’ll probably never win the lottery.
You can buy as many scratch-offs as you’d like, pick as many Powerball numbers as you possibly can and spend as much time in front of a slot machine as you can stand, but you’ll probably never win big.
Luckily for Chicago Bulls fans, their team won the lottery three years ago. In 2008, the Bulls defied all odds and won the NBA Draft lottery. With their pick, they selected Derrick Rose out of Memphis, and the rest is history.
Think back to before that draft. The Bulls had a 1.7 percent chance of walking away with the No. 1 overall pick—and they did. It’s almost as if it was fate.
Almost three years later, the Bulls are still collecting on their winnings.
Last weekend, Rose became the first member of the Chicago Bulls to start for the Eastern Conference in the NBA All-Star Game since Michael Jordan did it in 1998.
Rose is averaging 24.9 points, 8.2 assists and 4.4 rebounds through 53 games this season. With numbers like that, it’s no surprise his name instantly soars to the top of the mid-season MVP talks.
The addition of Rose to the Bulls has literally changed the face of this franchise. After the dynasty of the ’90s came and went, fans wondered if the Bulls would ever be exciting again. To be fair, it’s tough to top the likes of Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and Phil Jackson.
I am certainly not suggesting the Bulls are anything close to what they were in the ’90s, but they are definitely fun to watch again. Rose has been the catalyst for this change.
In an interview before the All-Star Game, Rose discussed his long-term goals for his career. Let’s just say they’re pretty lofty goals—exactly what you would want from the face of your franchise.
“Winning is everything,” Rose said. “That’s the only way you get noticed and create a legacy in this league. There have been a lot of great scorers before me, and after I get done playing, there will be a lot more after me. But only a few people can say they have enough rings to wear five days a week.
“That’s what I want to get to. I want to be like Magic or Kobe or Mike who have five or six rings and give you something to brag about.”
Sounds good to me, Derrick.
Rose simply does it all. He’s a leader on and off the court, he puts the time in during the offseason, and he’s committed to winning at all costs.
I accept the fact that I’ll never win the lottery, but I love the fact that my team did.
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From the Feb. 23-March 1, 2011, issue