Derrick Rose had no choice but to walk to center court before the national anthem Wednesday and accept the Most Valuable Player trophy from NBA Commissioner David Stern.
Rose held the trophy aloft as the fans chanted "MVP" for the 2,000th time this season. But he looked like someone who couldn't wait to get the game started.
"I can't wait to get it out of the way," Rose said before the game. "Of course I'm happy about it. It would be different if we won (Game 1), but we lost."
Rose took some time to reflect on Tuesday's formal news conference in which his mother, Brenda, was a primary focus.
"She doesn't like it at all," Rose said. "She hates it. It comes with the territory, I guess."
Rose gave a touching tribute to his mom, talking about how her days of taking care of the family and heading off to work, usually at the Chicago Board of Education, inspire him to get through the relatively minor setbacks of an NBA player.
He was asked if he rehearsed the speech or wrote down some of the things he planned to say.
"I never rehearsed nothing," Rose answered. "It just came out. If I was up there reading something, you'd know it wasn't sincere and legit, I think. I just tried my hardest to fight through it and make it easy.
"I was just saying how I feel. She usually doesn't see or hear that much emotion from me, other than I love her. I guess it got to her when I started telling people how much I do love her."
Stern played up the fact that Rose, 22, is the youngest MVP winner in history, beating Wes Unseld by a few weeks.
When he accepted the trophy for a second time at the United Center, Rose told the fans, "This right here is for the city of Chicago more than anything. I appreciate it."
Not as much as the fans do.