Commissioner David Stern casually walks up to the microphone and announces “With the Number 1 pick in the 2008-09 draft, the Bull pick Derrick Rose, from the Memphis Tigers.”Meanwhile back at the Friendly Confines (no wait that’s another sport), I mean the United Center the fans that were on the edge of their seats jumped up in unison as their eyes were glued to the screen above the scoreboard at center court.
“It means a lot to play at home. The Bulls had great players like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman,” said an elated Rose minutes pulling the token Chicago Bulls cap snuggly on his head while holding up the #1 jersey that was given him as he made his way to the podium. “Just knowing that I can be a part of that history, it’s amazing.”
Downstairs in the War room coaches and General Manager’s drew a heavy sigh of relief after weeks, and months of agonizing decisions that would hopefully lead the Bulls back to the Promised Land. The Bulls proved that this might be their year (wrong sport again) by pulling off one of the biggest upsets in the brief history of the NBA Lottery with the ping pong ball bouncing Chicago’s way. The Bulls had a slim 1.7 percent chance off pulling off a miracle, but the Brass must have rubbed (Michael) Jordan’s head before the airing.
Then the most important debate began since the 1984 draft where the Bulls got some guy from North Carolina dropped in their lap as the third pick overall Hakeem Olajuwon and Sam Bowie went number one and two respectfully, and we all know how that turned out.
This pick seem like more of a challenge between two “would be” superstars in the league, home grown talent Memphis point guard Derrick Rose and Kansas State forward Michael “the beast” Beasley. The picked marked the first time the Memphis Tigers had a player being drafted #1 overall in the NBA.
The other previous highest Tiger was Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway as the third pick in the 1993 draft by Golden State, and then was promptly traded to the Orlando Magic.
Rose, a 6’3″ point guard was the second leading scorer for the Tigers dropping 14.9 pints per game (ppg) while hauling down 4.5 boards and 4.7 assists. He was also named to the consensus All-American Freshman team along with grabbing honors as the Associated Press All-American third team, and a Bob Cousy Award Finalist. (Oh, and I forgot one little bit of information), he was selected to the All-Conference USA team and was the League’s freshman of the year.