A big thanks to my friend Joey Burton for emailing me this article. It is written by K.C. Johnson for the Chicago Tribune and it's on the "leadership growth" of Derrick Rose:
Luol Deng readily recalls the first time his mother met Derrick Rose.
"She kept talking to me about him and was just really happy with how he carried himself," Deng said. "To me, I don't care how good you are or what you do in life. Who you are as a person is more important than anything. And you can just tell Derrick is one of those kids who was raised the right way.
"He's not going to change. He's better at dealing with the spotlight than before, but all he really cares about are his teammates and winning. That's what a leader is."
Rose may be quiet by nature, but his will to win invokes determination and demands of others.
"I never worried about Derrick in terms of taking care of himself," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "But in setting the tone for the team, not tolerating others not doing their job, I think that has been his biggest growth."
Rose is notoriously hard on himself. His post-practice shooting routine would get bleeped out if misses were filmed. This drive, paired with a tireless work ethic to improve his game, is an example of his non-verbal leadership.
"If you can't coach your best player hard, you can't coach your team hard. And you can coach Derrick Rose as hard as anybody on the entire team," general manager Gar Forman said. "You talk about leadership. That to me is probably the strongest type."
The verbal leadership is more evident to those who know Rose well. So while there may not be histrionics on the court or many headlines about his leadership, those within the organization say it's there.
"He's quiet by nature but he's comfortable with the guys around him," Deng said. "If you don't know Derrick or he doesn't know you, he just goes about his business. Guys he's comfortable with, he'll open up."
"The talent is pretty easy to see," he said. "What you don't see are all the intangibles that he brings to the team, the confidence. But the confidence doesn't come from a false bravado. It comes from his preparation, his study and the work he puts into every day.
"The best thing about Derrick is he's a team-first guy. He's committed to playing for the team, and that's special."
Put another way, Forman appreciates Rose's low maintenance.
"We've all seen it over the years: There may be scenarios where the star player wants or needs preferential type of treatment in whatever it is," Forman said. "And there's none of that with Derrick."
Asked if he feels he has grown as a leader, Rose looked up.
"I just know I put the work in," Rose said.
You can read the entire article -- it extremely well-written -- here.