I was reading the Trib today, and there’s an opinion piece about why D Rose is no role model, http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/ct-perspec-1229-rose-20111229,0,5657899.story. It’s pretty predictable stuff in that it says kids shouldn’t try to be the next Derrick Rose because the chances of that are as good as winning the lottery, instead of trying to be in the NBA the kids should hit the books, etc.
I certainly have realized as an adult that worship of a great athlete just because they are a great athlete is just dumb. If Derrick Rose had been disabled in an accident before he made it with the Bulls, nobody would think anything of him. Just because he’s an amazing baller doesn’t mean kids should worship him. With that I agree. You won’t notice very many Jay Williams jerseys at the UC. If you recall, he was Derrick Rose 10 years ago before a motorcycle accident almost cost him a leg and did cost him a career.
But instead of writing an obvious article as the opinion piece, let’s discuss why Derrick Rose is a role model:
- His next brush with the law will be his first.
- Everything you hear about is how he works harder than anyone on the team to get better.
- He is close to his family and takes care of them.
- He’s humble.
- He’s loyal to Chicago.
- He has handled huge fame and wealth at a young age incredibly well.
- He always credits his teammates.
- Every opponent talks about how he carries himself with class.
- He does a ton of charity work including traveling to play for free in support of our troops.
- He speaks to local school children.
- I’ve never watched him play and thought he wasn’t giving it his all.
- He doesn’t come across as if he’s in it for the money only like many in the NBA.
I listed 12 reasons, but there are probably 100 more. I gladly bought my eight year old son a D Rose jersey when he asked for one and I’m glad that’s his favorite player. Both my boys think they are going to play in the NBA, but guess what, they are eight and five! And they don’t think they’ll be in the NBA (or on the Cubs when baseball season rolls around) because Derrick told them they will or can be. Every kid on their team thinks that way. But they have parents that support them athletically, academically and in every way. There is no harm in telling my son, "I can't wait to watch you in the NBA some day" if it makes him feel good. I don't tell him to skip his homework because of this and it's not as if it's seriously talked about in my house or pushed in any way. When he tells me he wants to be the first person to walk on Mars or about what he'll do when he's President, I offer the same encouragement.
When I was a kid I worshiped Michael Jordan and thought I too was a great player. Being a six foot, slow, white, power forward with no skills kept me from playing for the Bulls, but to oversimplify life and imply that we can’t look up to an athlete or point out their great attributes is absurd. I wouldn’t want my kid to grow up to be like MJ off the court, but if he becomes the grounded, humble, hard working person that Derrick Rose appears to be, I’d be blessed.
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