I don’t particularly care for the All-Star Game. It’s goofy, the players don’t really care, and all, save for the last 5 minutes, is just sloppy, sloppy basketball mixed in with a few neat tricks. After passing the age of, oh, let’s say 15, watching players throw down windmills on 3-0 breakaways has lost its appeal. Despite all of that, though, I still tuned in for the game. It was just about what you would expect. Nobody really cared, til the East staged a furious comeback at the end. Despite the close finish, my favorite moment came before the game even started.
My favorite moment was actually the introductions, for that moment was the absolute essence of Derrick Rose. With bass bumpin’, smoke flowing, and thousands of fans screaming, 4 of the best 10 players in the world (obviously Carmelo is not one of those 4) came to the stage. The 4 to the right, came out swaggering and dancing and screaming. The 5th and shortest of the quartet simply meandered out to the fore with his hands behind his back. Judging by his demeanor and his pace you would think he had just walked out of an exam and was mulling over how he did on the multiple choice section (unless someone was taking the test for him, probably not good).
This is what I absolutely adore about Derrick Rose:
He is all business. He suits up each game with one purpose in mind, to play basketball. He doesn’t care about the theatrics, he doesn’t care about mugging or grabbing the spotlight. He focuses on his game and does his utmost to win. He will throw in a flashy move here and there during the game, but he is pure substance otherwise, whether on or off the court.
I realize that not everybody enjoy that from basketball players. Some people want to be entertained and Rose comes off as a boring humblebot with no character. But watching that .gif above, it’s plain for me to see. I’d much rather have a calm, cool and collected superstar than someone dancing around looking like a jackass. Sure, it’s an all-star game, and it’s meant to be fun, but the actions of all those involved are par for the course. They acted as you would expect based on how they conduct themselves during regular season games.
This actually wouldn’t have come to my attention if it wasn’t for the minor media kerfuffle afterwards. K.C. Johnson of the Tribune asked Rose after the game about his lack of dancing and Rose replied, “I can dance. But there’s a time and place for that. And I don’t think that it was then and there.” He was actually also pressed about the issue prior to last year’s all-star game, and well, I’ll let Rose take it away again:
“I’m not doing that [dancing],” Rose said before Friday night’s game against the Orlando Magic. “I’m … not … doing … that. No, I’m not dancing. They’ll be mad. I’m not doing that. That’s just … Oh my God.”
“I’m going to look silly,” he said. “Then they show that video forever. They show it forever so it’s going to be bad. I hope [I don't have to]. You just made me think about it.”
“It’s just me embarrassing myself,” he said. “That’s something I wouldn’t do. Everybody’s going to be watching, then people are going to be talking about it, tweeting it and facebooking it.”
As charismatic as Lebron is (and though I rag him constantly, he’s undeniably charismatic when suited up to ball), he looks silly dancing and preening next to Rose. I don’t know if it was because I was raised watching Michael conduct himself with a quiet intensity who broke character not to puff his chest out, but to prank and tease friends, but I’m much more drawn to Rose. It’s not just because he’s a Bull. I secretly wish (just for the All-Star Game) that Rose could play with Durant, Love, and Aldridge on the West All-Star team. Those are some of my favorite non-Bulls because of their demeanor and the ferocity with which they work at their craft.
Whether or not you think of Rose as a basketball playing drone or as someone to look up to, he was definitely the highlight for me during the All-Star game