After 50 Points, This One-Time MVP Is Smellin’ Like A Rose

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Derrick Rose scores 50-points for the first time in his career

You can’t help but be happy for DRose. He turned it around. He absolutely came back from way back when no one thought or dreamt or even bet he could. Yes, we’re talking about Derrick Rose, the onetime League MVP and Rookie of the Year. And in 2011, Rose, with Jimmy Butler at his side, lead a Chicago Bulls team that was 62 -20, and the No. 1 Seed in the playoffs. But that was then, and this is now.

At one point, many argued that Rose was the best point guard in the NBA. Yet those high career highs have been replaced with some very low and lonely lows. Of late, Rose has been through heartache and heart break; injury and rehabilitation and trades and new teams have been the hallmark of his rickety, rockety career.

Now, Rose continues to rebuild his career and has found a home in Minnesota with Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler, again. Now, Rose is working to rebuild his commitment to his craft and his confidence in himself and his faith in his future ability to be the player he knows he can be.

After scoring 50 points, including the game winning basket in the 128-125 win over the Utah Jazz, Rose was in tears. Tears. He actually was sobbing as the emotions bubbled up and boiled over in an open show of gratitude and thankfulness.

Good for you DRose. Good for you. All of basketball is happy and is rejoicing with you.

Here’s how ESPN reported on the revival of Derrick Rose:

“To say Derrick Rose has had a rough few years would be an understatement. The former league MVP saw his run with the Chicago Bulls come to an unceremonious end, played one disappointing season with the New York Knicks, then signed on to join the Cleveland Cavaliers’ star-studded lineup last season, only to end up taking a leave of absence from the team before eventually being traded.

When he signed on with the Minnesota Timberwolves late last season, it was seen as a coach doing a favor for his former star player. But Rose never lost faith in himself, telling The Undefeated’s Marc Spears, ‘Anything that comes my way I am going to grab it.’

He did that in a big way Wednesday night, scoring a career-high 50 points to lead the Wolves to a three-point win. He made the go-ahead basket with 30 seconds left, then gave Minnesota a three-point cushion with a pair of free throws with 13.8 seconds left to reach the 50-point mark.” http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/25139327/derrick-rose-scored-50-points-nba-players-loved-it

The NBA, aka “Not For Boys” Playoffs: 2017 Edition

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The NBA now means “No Boys Allowed.”  It’s time for the NBA playoffs and it’s time to put up or shut up. It’s time for the strong to prove the doubters wrong, and for the winners not to quit and for quitters not to win.

If you want to play with the big boys you can’t be a little lad.  Come strong or go home. The NBA is a man’s game.  And this year, in this man’s game, the No. 1 seed Boston Celtics lost the first two games of their series to the upstart Chicago Bulls, AT HOME. And in case you missed the score sheet, Da Bulls are the 8th seed, and they barely made the playoffs. But please keep in mind that the leader of the Celtics, Isaiah Thomas, lost his sister just prior to Game 1, so his heart and his head weren’t necessarily in the same place.

 Chicago beat Boston with a patch-work quilt, taped together, spliced and diced team full of old heads and young thugs. It’s not the 90’s Bulls team anymore; so no more Michael Jordan, no more Scottie Pippen, and most recently, no more Derrick Rose. But this just in: Boston came back and beat Chicago IN Chicago; Games 3 and 4 went to the visitors so now we have a tied series; and now it’s a best of three affair.  And since Rajon Rondo is hurt, it looks like it’s over for D Wade (and his Bulls), who made a go of it in Chi-Town. Wade’s new team isn’t quite ready for playoff prime time, at least not beyond shocking Boston in Boston.

Sports are like life and life is like sports. And the regular season and the playoffs are just like life.  The regular season requires playing with consistency and playing well consistently. And that is necessary and good. But the playoffs is another level.  Yes, the regular season of our lives requires us to be constantly consistent. But that’s not enough if you want to be a champion. Champions win in the playoffs, and the playoffs require everything the regular season demands, and some.

The playoffs demand grit and guts and moxie and chutzpah and determination and fortitude.  The playoffs are the high points of our lives. And the high peaks and lofty goals we strive to reach mandate that we give a little more and take a lot less in order to reach the top. 

If Boston beats Chicago in this first round series, Isaiah Thomas and the Celtics will have passed a significant test on their way to the summit. They may not make it to the finals or the championship this year, but at least they will have proven to us, and to themselves, that they are deserving to be a No. 1 Seed in this “no boys allowed” game.

 As for the rest of the 2017 Playoffs, my money’s still on the Warriors, because Durant deserves a dynasty of rings, or at least just one.

LeBron James and the Cavaliers Will Win The NBA Championship

James from rear

Ok, Ok, Ok. Fine. I get it. LeBron is the greatest basketball player playing today. But you’ll have to excuse me because I’m from the MJ era, and in my book, Michael Jordan is still The One. Mike won 6 NBA Championships in six tries. That’s six for six, with two three-peats. That’s a stat that will (or may?) never be repeated. LeBron is two for four, with four straight finals appearances. Not too shabby, but not quite like Mike.

LeBron James is single-handedly carrying his Cavaliers to victory. The team should be renamed the “LeBron Cavaliers” as King James is carrying the team on his proverbial back and willing them to beat anyone and everyone that stands between them and the first NBA Championship for Cleveland. The Cavs moved one win away from the Eastern Conference finals after beating Chicago 106-101 in Game Five of their semi-final series on Tuesday.

LeBron finished with 38 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. Another double-double. Not too shabby. And the stats are a mere pat on his back and feather is his hat. The stats don’t count the willpower and the staying power and the grit and the grind and the force and the fervor that Sir James has and plays with. It’s a wonder to behold. Right after Derrick Rose won game 3 on a buzzer beater, James, not and never to be outdone, won game 4 with a buzzer beater of his own.

I watched Game 5 and was mesmerized. LeBron played like a man-child. With the series between Cleveland and Chicago – correction, between LEBRON and Chicago – tied at 2-2, the all-important Game 5 was on the line. Donning the signature headband he ditched in March, James played like a man possessed. Remember, he won game 2 by powering to the basket, leaving Bulls defenders in his wake and keeping the Cavs, missing two starters, from falling into a 2-0 hole. Likewise, James won Game 5 the same way.

Now DA Bulls will have to win two games to defeat the Cavalier Cavs, including a Game 7 on the road in Cleveland. And that just aint gonna’ happen. So here we go. The Cavs are on the verge of an NBA Championship. Yes an NBA Championship. They are eager and energized, moved and motivated and stirred and stimulated.

And yes I said that LeBron couldn’t win without love, Kevin Love, but James has taken it upon himself to prove me wrong. In fact, James has made it his mission in life to prove EVERYBODY who doesn’t wish or want him to win in Cleveland wrong. Dead wrong. And that is as close to a spiritual spectacle as you can get.

LeBron James may not be loveable or even likeable, but he certainly is capable of winning and succeeding and prevailing and triumphing over his enemies. And the same should apply to me and you. Let someone say you can’t do something or you don’t have what it takes or you don’t stand a chance. That should be fuel for your fire and wind beneath your wings.

So take it from LeBron. You can do what everyone else says you can’t do. You can do all things through Christ that strengthens you (Philippians 4:13). The Message Bible says it this way:

Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.

Believe it.