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Article posted: 7/30/2013 5:35 AM

Rose better know his opponents will be ready

By

Word travels fast today in our constantly connected and plugged-in world.

A quote, especially a stupid or misguided one, spreads quickly and becomes ammunition in the blink of an eye.

Last week, Bulls guard Derrick Rose was asked by a CNN reporter who the best player in the NBA was, and he responded: "Derrick Rose."

Maybe the humble description can't be used for him any longer, and I expect he believes in his answer, but when you're cleared to play by the doctors and you don't play, it's hard to be making this kind of statement.

I love his confidence and bravado, and D-Rose may be establishing and redefining his leadership status in the league. He is telling the doubters and the haters he is physically and mentally ready, which has been some what of a stumbling block until now.

Rose now says he is at 100 percent, which is just in time to get the fan base excited and get some tickets sold.

In those years when Michael Jordan didn't win the MVP award, I don't think the guys who did win -- like Charles Barkley, Karl Malone or David Robinson -- went around saying they were better than MJ.

They knew better.

I want Rose to be the best, and he can and hopefully will be, but right now Rose isn't as good as LeBron James or Kevin Durant. He can't be considered the best because he didn't play last year.

I'm confident he will be a top 10 player, but his declaration will only ignite his opponents.

Rose will definitely be put to the test this year -- at every turn he will be jostled, picked, knocked down and fouled hard.

How will Rose respond to that abuse?

As for the upcoming season, LeBron and the Miami Heat know it's on -- and big time. Our field general just told the Heat and the rest of the world he is better than their talent.

Rose did admit in the CNN interview that the toughest person to guard in the league is LeBron. And we all know LeBron will be a formidable opponent who is ready to defend the title and his MVP status.

I think next season will be the biggest year of D-Rose's career. The Bulls have the team to win it all because the Bulls match up well against the Heat from players 2 through 12.

Now if Rose truly is back and competes well against his rival, LeBron, the Bulls just might come out on top at the end of the season.

We don't really know how the year will unfold, but The one thing we do know is that D-Rose is selling woof tickets.

Let the games begin.

Program notes:

Watch me on "Mancow" on WPWR Ch. 50 at 6:30 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.

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