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Good things do happen to good people


PhilBoxing.com




"DO something you like and the money will follow," talk show queen Oprah Winfrey once upon a time dispensed that advice while discussing the keys that open doors to a joyful life.

Basketball has always been the love of Derrick Rose. He played it from early childhood, through his shy teenage years, and well into his early adult life as a member of the Chicago Bulls. He poured his heart onto the sport, gave every game he played everything he got.

He led Simeon High School to two state titles and took Memphis to an NCAA final game in his lone year as a college player. He parlayed all that success into becoming the NBA's No.1 draft pick in 2008. He won Rookie of the Year honors in 2009, and last season, he was crowned league MVP.

Although the Bulls' playoff hopes were dashed by the Miami Heat last summer, the team saw through Rose's hard work, dedication, leadership, and most importanlty, the commitment to win.

And then came the reward.

The Chicago Bulls on Wednesday announced that they have signed their All-Star guard to a well-deserved five-year contract extension worth $98.4 million.

The NBA, as team owners complained during the infamous 147-day lockout, is a league that has inked too many bad contracts with players who are overpaid and underachieved. Rose isn't one of those players, and his team is actually elated to hand him that vast fortune.

In fact, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau declared that his only regret is not being able to sign the 23-year old Rose to a longer deal.

"What we've seen up to now, he embodies all the characteristics you look in a championship player, and it's a lot more than the talent," Thibodeau told the Chicago Sun-Times. "The talent is the obvious part. Then when you look at his will to win, his basketball IQ, his unselfishness, his humility, those are the things you can build a championship-caliber team around."

The high salary, however, comes with bigger expectations. Rose understands it well saying, "we've only got one thing in mind, and that's to win a championship."

In his third and best NBA season yet, the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Rose averaged 25 points. 7.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds during last year's regular season. And he was dynamic throughout the postseason, leading the Bulls to the ill-fated Eastern Conference Finals.

The Heat still parades the usual suspects -- LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh -- which means the Bulls will have to go through Miami to reach the NBA Finals.

Tough task, indeed. But it's a challenge that the Bulls and their tireless leader are only too eager to embrace.

For now, though, albeit briefly, it's all about Derrick Rose. And the reward he so richly deserves for doing what he loves to do, and doing it real well.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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