On the night he was named an NBA All-star, Derrick Rose lit up Madison Square Garden in a Chicago Bulls win over the New York Knicks, 105-102, on Thursday.
While Amare Stoudemire led all scorers with 34 points, to go along with 11 rebounds, it was Rose who dazzled the crowd. The 23-year-old point guard had jaws dropping as he scored at will, and in exciting ways.
Rose converted 12-of-26 shots, and many of those 12 field goals were simply spectacular. The reigning most valuable player looked particularly sharp in shoot arounds, and was able to fend off some of the Knicks' best perimeter defenders in a tight contest.
Every time I step on the court, they're coming at me, Rose said. I love it where it's a challenge like that. I'm not backing away from it, and I don't want them to back away from it. It's just 'be on' every night.
Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, viewed last season as a savior for the franchise, scored a game-high 26 points, but it was Rose who was the toast of Manhattan.
Playing for his hometown team, Rose still exhibits a soft-spoken and humble approach to his success with the Bulls. Rarely does he show too much emotion or exaggerate the importance of hitting a shot.
In the 1990s, the Garden was amazed by the play of another Chicago Bulls star. Knicks fans were just as desperate for an NBA title back then, but were denied by a guard who at times appeared flawless.
As the Bulls won six titles, and while the Knicks languished, New York fans couldn't help but be enthralled by the balance, precision, and will of Michael Jordan. Not only did he terrorize the Knicks, but he did it in style.
Rose appears to have taken Jordan's role as the player New York fans both love and hate to watch.