NBA Commissioner David Stern presents Bulls guard Derrick Rose with 2011 NBA MVP award
By Adam Fluck | 05.05.2011
One day after he was named as the award’s recipient, NBA Commissioner David Stern was on hand at the United Center to formally present Derrick Rose with the NBA MVP trophy prior to the Bulls’ Game 2 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
“In a league of very valuable players, you are most valuable,” Stern told Rose at center court before a capacity crowd of 22,872.
“This right here is for the city of Chicago more than anything,” said Rose, who was joined by his mother, Brenda, and three brothers.
Before the game, Stern met with reporters and praised Rose for the way in which he handled himself as the youngest MVP in NBA history during Tuesday’s news conference.
“It was an extraordinary event,” Stern said. “In addition to being a great basketball player, he’s a very nice and well-grounded young man. It’s a pleasure to have him here and I’m delighted to be here to present the award tonight.
“He couldn't be better,” added Stern when asked how he viewed Rose as a young role model for the league. “He’s the full package. He’s got a family that watched out for him and he made it through difficult times and he's very valuable, not just to the league, but to his teammates and as a role model to all. It’s very exciting to be here.”
Chicago and the NBA saw Michael Jordan and the Bulls win six world championships in eight seasons during the 1990s. Whether they are fair or not, the comparisons between Jordan and Rose are occasionally made. But Stern wasn’t prepared to go there when discussing whether Rose has the same potential.
“It’s something that I would hope for for many players,” said Stern. “But I’m not going to be like one of those journalists who starts doing color commentary and then becomes a basketball expert. I've only been doing this for 40 years and I’m not expert enough to tell you about potential.
“I do know that he is the youngest MVP, that he deserves the award that he’s getting tonight, he had a heck of a season, he brought his team with him and he’s a great teammate,” continued Stern. “So you can check it all off. He’s a heck of a player and I think if we can keep him healthy, he’s going to have some career and there are a lot of other players who would like to not have him get this trophy next year. And that's a wonderful thing, because you could probably name four or five of them off the top of your head, and that’s why this league is doing so well right now.”