Remember that technical foul Derrick Rose picked up during the second quarter of Monday night’s home win over the Indiana Pacers?
Well, it was Derrick’s first. As in ever.
Said Rose: “That was my first one ever. High school, grammar school, college ever. It hurt. I said it was some b.s. It took them awhile to give me the tech. I thought it was over with. I guess it got to him. I’m running back down the court and he called it.”
My take: It’s about time.
And Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald put the feelings of many Bulls fans into words when he wrote: “Ever since he joined the Bulls, it has been a mystery how Rose can drive to the basket as often as he does and be rewarded with so few free-throw attempts. … He shot just 3 against the Pacers, but maybe standing up for himself can pay off. The first time he drove to the basket after the technical, he got a whistle and 3-point play.”
David Stern doesn’t want people to discuss this. During last season’s playoffs, the commish threatened to suspend coaches and players for critical comments about officiating. This season, the league has given referees the power to dole out quick technical fouls for even mild player reactions to calls or no-calls.
People outside of Chicago bristle when Bulls fans bring up the lack of tweets Rose has gotten over the years. Only whiners complain about no-calls, they say. He’s too strong and athletic, they tell me. He’s so incredibly fast, they insist. He successfully avoids contact, they demand.
I’ve heard it over and over.
Here’s how ESPN’s John Hollinger recently put it: “He’s so smooth, so graceful and so explosive that it’s fairly easy for him to float past opponents and drop in a layup or to launch his unusually-effective 10-foot floater or to pull up for the J while an opponent watches helplessly from the other side of the screen. Alas, none of those maneuvers get him to the line, and the next time Rose willfully draws contact to force his way there will be a first.”
According to Hoopdata, Rose attempts 5.5 shots at the rim per game. He ranks 11th in the league in that particular category. Apparently, we are expected to believe that Derrick is some kind of magician who can avoid contact like some kind of ghostly mist drifting toward the basket.
The Great Poohdini indeed.
Yes, Rose is strong, fast, and insanely athletic. Yes, he does do a very effective job of avoiding most of the contact that might otherwise occur on a standard trip through the paint. But the kid takes un-called contact all the time.
All the time.
Personally, I think Rose is being penalized for his personality. He doesn’t flail or drop like a sack of bricks when he feels contact. Unlike Kobe Bryant, he doesn’t resort to verbal flops when the various hacks and whacks he receives don’t earn him a whistle. He rarely complains. And until the other night, he had never complained loudly or rudely enough to get a tech.
And, according to McGraw, Rose vowed it wouldn’t happen again.
Said Rose: “Next time I’ve just got to hold it in and hopefully I won’t get any more techs, because I need that (fine) money. There’s a recession out here.”
Derrick was joking. But he was serious too.
It’s too bad. Not that I want Rose to start earning technicals like Rasheed Wallace or flopping all over the court like Vlade Divac. But even Michael Jordan had to lobby with the officials from time to time. Kobe does it. Paul Pierce does it. It’s called selling the foul. It’s as much a part of the game as practicing your threes. And until Rose finds a way to communicate to the officials that he’s getting hacked and grabbed on his drives, he’s going to keep getting frozen out at the free throw line.
I hate to say it. But it’s true.