He's the most beloved athletic figure in Chicago currently, and to this point I swear. But in any other town, he's a forgotten rose, such as a place like Miami, where he blossomed like a rose like no other on LeBron James' court near the shores of South Beach.

For all the strange folks in this universe ignoring the self-proclaimed Rose, Derrick Rose to be more precise, a relentless point guard favored to earn Most Valuable Player honors this year for such a sensational season with the Chicago Bulls, he is almost unstoppable in his dominance and hasn't been denied much too often with the exception of the Bulls' loss to Golden State.

So there was Rose, in one of his remarkable moments, as the Bulls survived on the road with an 87-86 win over the Heat to wildly send a vital statement to the league. In every way, if you will, he's the symbol of the Bulls, not to mention that he instills a promising future for the Bulls, lucky to play for his hometown that pleads for him to serve as a vital element and validate his heroism for a championship-starved town.

You probably wonder what fuels his energy, a basic habit he adopts in order to preserve his strength without becoming fatigued, stay efficiently able to race by traffic and finish on layups. The renewable intensity he produces comes from his fetish for sweets, junk food he refuses to turn down and consumes religiously.

Either way, that is, Rose has risen as the face of Chicago at a moment when the Bulls are in contention of putting fear in the hearts of the Boston Celtics, the Orlando Magic and the Heat.

Given that he's in the shadows of Michael Jordan, an all-time legend who still reigns as the greatest ballplayer in Chicago with a statue cast in bronze outside of the United Center, he'll most likely gain a reputation for being the hero for resuscitating the Bulls rebirth, reinstalling a sense of aspiration and nostalgia.

The popular youngster delivered on Sunday in a matinee event against the Heat with 27 points on 12-for-23 shooting in 38 minutes, capping a season sweep of Miami. It's never smart to dismiss the Bulls, known as the underdogs in the NBA this season, even if Chicago comprises of a crafty superstar as gifted as Rose.

Nobody believes in the Bulls, now a sensible competitor in the East, weary of being called the underdogs after the recent showdown against the Heat indicated that Chicago could presumably beat the boys from South Beach in the playoffs when it easily humiliated and defeated its toughest opponent.

The stakes were high for the Bulls, tied for second place in the Eastern Conference, all while trying to anxiously prove to the basketball world that they are for real and can shimmer come the postseason with perhaps a best-of-seven series that could become a thriller for the ages.

In a moment of emergence for the Bulls, the reemergence, rather, any scare to the Bulls' sudden rise to supremacy in the Eastern Conference isn't intimidating to Rose, known as a baby version of MJ since he's not afraid to drive his way inside traffic and finish on a refreshing layup.

In truth, the aura of dominance and toughness describes the arsenal of Rose, an expert as a proficient floor general to lead the Bulls in the post-Jordan era and simply form a compelling cast potent to stun the league in decades.

It seems as if the Bulls, even if Chicago may not survive in the postseason with the depth of its opponents, may have removed the Baby Bull label from in front of their names and could encounter joy for the first time since Jordan retired from Chicago.

It's a proven franchise built with tremendous talent to stand up to the top notches of the Eastern Conference, and many of the people are suddenly fearful of Bulls and trust in Rose.

Few players in our nation can inspire kids, and it just so happens that Rose isn't only instrumental to the Bulls but inspirational to children, particularly those who had to grow up in poverty and bad environments, seeing as he was raised in a side of Chicago and played pick up basketball in predominately a neighborhoods of gang violence, bloody streets, homicides and drugs.

In reality, he was raised in the hood but chose the right path and instead had been faithful to playing on the courts and shooting hoops, although he resided in a rough territory.

His irresistible play exposed throughout the afternoon of a pivotal must-have, during a period when the overwhelmed beliefs persuade doubters to actually trust in the Bulls, shifted the mood and uplifted a dormant atmosphere out of a bleak psyche to forge a great beacon of hope.

The defeat marked the Bulls' third win against the Heat in the season when Rose, along with Amar'e Stoudemire, Russell Westbrook, Rajon Rondo and Tony Parker, have all made strong cases for MVP candidacy.

What's more, there's always one player worthy of the award more than the other players, and that would clearly be Rose. It was a dramatic finish, fairly unpredictable near the end, and it appeared as if the Heat was well on its way to a victory when the Bulls blew a five-point lead late and trailed 86-84 after Mario Chalmers darted in uncontested for a layup with 25.8 seconds left.

That, however, led to a foul charged against Chalmers and it sent Luol Deng to the charity strike, where he drained one of two free throws with 17.3 seconds remaining. By way of contrast, in the end, Joakim Noah switched onto James and forced a miss, but the Heat rebounded and Dwyane Wade heaved a prayer from the baseline at the buzzer that rattled out.

The last-second desperation jumper decided it for the Bulls in a game they really wanted to take and prevailed at with much at stake, adding to the agony and frustration of the Heat's season struggles. Fear Rose, known for attacking the rim, surrounded by a reliable supporting cast with Noah and Carlos Boozer. But in this particular showdown, Rose outplayed Jamxes and Wade, finding a way to awe spectators with his impressive turnaround.

It clearly was a defensive effort exposed from the heart and star power of the Bulls, rallying back in the end to win after trailing against the Heat, on an afternoon when the Heat essentially almost beat Chicago, but Rose orchestrated a comeback late with his hot streaks of shots.

Folks, the Bulls aren't pushovers and have a contender. Sunday was a reminder, as everyone else worries about the Heat, blinded by the bloom of a Rose.

-Jonathan Mathis


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