Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose is an undisputed basketball superstar. The 23-year-old’s résumé includes a national championship game appearance with Memphis (later vacated), being the first overall selection in the 2008 draft, Rookie of the Year honors, two-time NBA All-Star status and a Most Valuable Player distinction.
In the history of the NBA, it is incredibly rare for a player to accomplish all of these accolades after one year of college basketball and only three years of NBA ball. As Rose begins season four with his hometown team, the only professional achievement yet to be realized is an NBA title.
Because of his stellar body of work, Rose has quickly grown into one of the most revered and popular players in the sport.
At home in Chicago, the 6-3 righty can do virtually nothing wrong in the eyes of fans. He stays out of trouble and appears to give everything he has to the Bulls organization. In return for Rose’s devotion, Chicagoland hoops followers have packed the United Center, while generating spectacular local television ratings.
On the road, the Bulls have once again become a hot ticket, with more and more fans investing in Rose related paraphernalia, as well as staking him out at hotels and arenas, with the hopes of obtaining an autograph or photo.
Rose’s record in that last area appears to be a mixed bag.
Last Friday, Rose and the Bulls were in Los Angeles for the second time in less than a week. While teammates Carlos Boozer and Richard Hamilton stopped to sign autographs for the gathering of NBA diehards stationed outside of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Rose took a B line straight to the team bus, not even acknowledging the group of fans, who without question came out to see the reigning MVP above anyone else.
Per the above ifollosports.com original video, Rose and big man Joakim Noah chose to ignore the screams of people who were holding photos, shoes, balls and other objects they had hoped Rose would add his signature to.
Rose’s decision to ignore the vociferous fans was a far cry from his actions in Minneapolis last April. Check out this ifollosports.com original video displaying the effort put forth by Rose, as he takes the time to sign numerous autographs for an excited group of followers, prior to a game vs. the Timberwolves.
Chicago sources tell iFollowSports that Rose is a standup guy when dealing with the media, who is believed to generally treat fans with a similar level of respect.
So, it appears an interaction with Rose is a 50-50 proposition.
It is interesting to note that while Rose maybe detaching himself from the public, Eastern Conference nemesis LeBron James is making a slightly better effort to engage with fans, as compared to his distance approach of last season. This theory is on display when viewing these multiple pieces of ifollosports.com original video from both this and last season.
While Rose and James will continue to be fierce on court competitors for years to come, the two megastars may be heading in different directions when it comes to fan interaction.
Time will tell in both of these areas.