By Michael O'Brien

Derrick Rose's first day at Memphis

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Dan Wolken of the Memphis Commercial Appeal checks in with a story on Pooh's first day of school...,2844,MCA_25363_5581456,00.html

Check out the link. It's a fun story. I'm breaking my own self imposed rule by writing about someone who isn't in high school anymore, but after following Rose for so long...habits are just hard to break.

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Who gives a rats ass about Memphis???....when "Pooh" Fed Exed himself down there to play in mighty Conference USA he became least Reggie has something to show for it..

..anyhow, Rose can join Sean Dockery on the list of Chicagoland high school phenoms who forgot that there is no place like home and were left wondering why nobody but sychophant sports bloggers care about their college careers once they high tail it out of here.....

he should have attended UI or Depaul...then maybe thousands of Chicagoland fans might be actually paying attention to his college career...for me, if I want to read about Rose I'll get an online subscription to the Memphis Cracker Gazette

O'Brien responds: Sorry, but for me (and a lot of others) it doesn't really matter where Rose chose to go to college. He's a Chicago kid. An amazingly talented, nice kid, who represents this city well. I can't wait to watch the rest of his career.

Who cares? Welcome to a nice year of playing in front of 1,500 people in Houston on a Tuesday night in January. "Pooh" should ask Dockery how much hometown love he got during his four years at Duke

following the rest of his career? bad argument Mike, same reason that Wade and Isiah got booed everytime they came back. don't care about Rose at all. let the Tennesseans he decided to play for care...

O'Brien responds: I'm not presenting an argument, just saying how I feel. Not everyone lives and dies for college basketball. Especially those of us that spend the winter watching Simeon, not the Big Ten.

Reggie used his brother to make money and Derrick will suffer because of it. This whole story is sad.

I think that any one that wants to attack this young man for his decision to go to Memphis is quite immature. How dare anyone talk about this humble kid that I have had the privilege to witness play basketball for the past six years. From Beasley to Simeon, Derrick has always been a standup individual who always puts others before him. Why in the hell should he have made U of I a priority, when they made him an option. The Illini was so in love with Eric Gordon that they basically disrespected a phenom right in their own back yard. Then when Eric decided to go to Indiana, Derrick out of courtesy tried to give the Illini a fair chance, but in the end he was committed to the one coach that stayed committed to him, which was Calipari. So when Memphis (a team that is picked to take it all this year) is hoisting a Championship trophy and the Illini and DePaul are still trying to find they're way, you just remember that Derrick Rose, a future number 1 pick mind you, is from Chicago, and that is all that matters.

Is this posted by Derrick Hardy the wrestler? Didn't know you was a Rose or a basketball fan.

Anyway Illinois definetley put Rose on the backburner for an out of state kid who in the end thumbed his nose at Illinois. And then everyone expects Rose to come running back to Illinois. Not! I say go where they respect and want you.

No matter what he's from the crib and will always represent Chi like Juwan Howard, Nick Anderson, Hardaway, Isaiah, Doc Rivers from back in the day. We also need to pay respect to the new cats epsecially Julian wright and soon Sheron Collins from KU, even Pargo out at Gonzaga to name a few. All NY kids dont stay at St. Johns and they still represent their block. Don't hate D. Rose because U of I and DePaul is on the decline. If it was up to him for real for real, he would be going to the league...haters!!

O'Brien responds: Well said Jay.

ILLINOIS PUT DERRICK ROSE ON THE BACKBURNER FOR ERIC GORDON???????????!!!!that is the single dumbest thing I've read in months and it is also a flat out lie....first, no school would ever put rose on the backburner....he was the country's top high school point guard....second, rose and gordon dont even play the same position...rose is a PG and Gordon is a SG...Rose had an offer from Illinois FOR YEARS and unlike the long line of loyal Simeon players who played for UI he carpetbagged it out of town......

.....somebody should check and see what kind of job Reggie landed in Memphis...i'd be more interested in that than how many points rose chucks up against the patsies in Conference USA....

as to the populariy of high school athletes who leave town....take a walk around town and tell me how many Illini jerseys you see compared to Memphis and Puke apparel..there are a couple of hundred thousand UI alums in Chicagoland...their level of loyalty and interest is for all things Illinois and we have special affection for our Chicago athletes who decide to represent their state school.

Derrick Hardy wrote:

"Then when Eric decided to go to Indiana, Derrick out of courtesy tried to give the Illini a fair chance, but in the end he was committed to the one coach that stayed committed to him, which was Calipari. So when Memphis (a team that is picked to take it all this year) is hoisting a Championship trophy and the Illini and DePaul are still trying to find they're way, you just remember that Derrick Rose, a future number 1 pick mind you, is from Chicago, and that is all that matters."

Hardy; you should go to work for the Bush Administration..they could use somebody with your talent to rewrite their sorry ass history as well.....rose was a lock for memphis the minute they got to was well known in recruiting circles and especially by webers credit he kept recruiting rose...he just couldnt make the kind of offer that calipari made...

weber guided luther, deron and dee to the NBA which is a hell of a lot more than calipari has ever dont see NBA GM's praising Calapari for getting his players NBA ready but you hear it regularly about Weber...Calipari's major claim to fame is the consistent amount of NCAA violations he racks you one of those fur coats he got caught handing out to his players that Memphis aint hoisting any Trophy next year.......

and one more thing.....I'm from Chicago so dont start bullcrappin me about what matters and what doesnt......greatest and most loved athlete in Chicago sports history?...not Jordon, Ditka or Ernie Banks....its Dick Butkus and one of the reasons is because he went to CVS, the U of I and played for the Bears...he is a true Chicago guy who showed loyalty to the great State of Ilinois

"O'Brien responds: Well said Jay."

you sir, just lost any shred of credibility you had or thought you had with that sniveling "oh, me too" garbage


O'Brien responds: You gotta love Illini fans...

Who said all of us were Illini or DePaul fans? Explain to me why guys like Wade and Antoine Walker get booed when they come to Chicago. That's not Illini or DePaul fans, that's Bulls fans. No one cares once they leave the state, and the same goes for Rose, and Sherron Collins and Julian Wright for that matter. They'll get booed the same as the other goes, and don't deserve continuing coverage in a Chicago newspaper.

O'Brien responds: You need an explanation for why Walker and Wade were booed, along with the rest of the Heat? Walker and Wade were playing in a playoff series against the Bulls. They don't get booed because of their college choice. Dee Brown would have been booed if the Bulls played the Jazz. Your college-based logic makes no sense. Chicago fans love Kirk Hinrich (Kansas), Luol Deng (Duke). Get over it. Kids from Chicago will always be covered and always be respected by the majority of fans. Walker is a Chicago kid. The real South Side fans know all the things he has done for the community and Mount Carmel. They don't care which college he went to or which NBA team he's currently playing for. Tai Streets went to Michigan and played for San Francisco and Detroit, but he's a beloved, important contributer to high school sports in the south suburbs.

You, guys can't ignore the fact that a Chicago superstar who stays in state to play college ball has more favor with the city than those who leave. I graduated from H.S. in '79, the same year Isiah came out, Isiah verbally committed to DePaul and ultimately went on to win a national championship at Indiana and a hall of fame career in Detroit. We have never forgotten that Isiah was a Chicago kid, but he is not truly loved in Chicago, because he left. Mark Aguirre was/is loved in Chicago even though he played professionally elsewhere. Terry Cummings is loved, Nick Anderson, Dave Corzine...

Rose is an outstanding player and by all accounts an outstanding kid, but we are in Illinois and most of us follow the Illini, DePaul and the Big 10, he won't receive the love because he will be out of sight and eventually out of mind.

I doubt Isiah and Doc are staying up nights regretting that they left the state and neither will Rose, he is going to be a superstar.

O'Brien responds: Good post Darryl. I just think it's a silly discussion, because everyone has to leave eventually. Look at Quentin Richardson. Totally beloved at Young and DePaul. But you can't choose which pro team you play for, so now he is sort of out of sight and out of mind in the Chicago media. But his legend lives on pretty strong in the Public League. Because he's from here. Not because he went to DePaul or played for the Clippers. When a local player makes good and represents the city well, he should be celebrated, regardless of where he chooses to go to school.

Gee, where did you go to college OBrien??...probably has a big influence on your views.....certainly seems to have effected your logic..........

..not everybody leaves eventually...its just the opposite... hundreds of athletes go to high school in Illinois and then attend local colleges. Guess what? They dont go on and play professional sports and stay here in Chicago to develop their business and professional careers. They get huge support from their fellow college alumni who also happen to make Chicago their home. There is a substantial advantage for local athletes to build their business careers in an enviornment populated with fellow alums.

this may also be a newsflash for you.....only high school kids identify themselves by what high school they go one I've ever met whose attended college ever says "I went to Proviso West and I'm representing my hood"...they view themselves as a collegian and an alum representing their highest level of academic success....ask Dee Brown, Deron Williams, Luther Head, Marcus Liberty, Efrem Winters, Nick Anderson and Kendall Gill.

one more thing....many Chicago sports fans dont view going to Kansas, Memphis or Duke as "making good" more than they might view Lance Briggs making it good by leaving the Bears to play for the Rams even if it means more $$$$..its called loyalty

There will never be more popular colleges in Chicago than UI, DePaul, Nothwestern and Loyola...thats because the vast majority of your college educated readership has attended these schools. Dont expect them to celebrate kids who leave town to play for despised college sports rivals with the same energy as they celebrate those who choose to attend their Alma Maters. to might be surprised that derricks weak ass jumpshot will be exposed when he plays against bigger guards who are as physicaly gifted as he is...calipari wont develop it and rose won't stay in college long enough for it to happen....darius miles was just as good in high school and his game got exposed in the pros will derricks....he isnt melo, bryant or lebron.....he's not ready and calipari will get him "darius washington" ready....and it wont make much difference to the vast majority of Chicago fans who gave up on rose when he gave up on them...Chicago and Champaign are in the same hood..its called Illinois.

O'Brien responds: B, I understand that not everybody leaves Chicago, but we were discussing athletes that go on to play professionally, and they do all eventually play somewhere else. As for Rose. If you think Darius Miles was as good as Rose in high school, I guess you are entitled to your opinion. But I've got a feeling even Miles himself would disagree.

Illinois fans and/or alumni have got to be some of the most insecure (and maybe delusional) basketball fans in the country. You guys are even worse than NC State and Missouri fans. Please, just let it go. You have a good coach in Weber, and it looks like the recruiting is finally picking up after the lull following the near-championship season. Illinois will be just fine and will remain respected. You don't have to chip in and trash Derrick Rose every time his name is mentioned. (Although I will concede that you do have a reason to be upset about the whole Eric Gordon debacle...although I think you should be trashing Sampson more than the kid, but that's another story.)

John...try living in Columbus, Ohio, I did and believe me, the Illini fan, NC State fan or the Missouri fan, together, could not be more obnoxious than a "Buckeye."

b. excellent point, a Chicago superstar who stays in state but does not make it to the pro's has much more opportunity than the kid who goes elsewhere, doesn't make it in the pros and has to come back, and most will come back. The key however, is they need to get that degree.

O'Brien....we are giving your blog all this ink...the least you can do is tell us where you went to college....maybe it will help explain your "gotta love those illini fans" comment...

God, I hope your a Notre Dame alum..that would be too good to be true

O'Brien responds: Fair enough. But it's bound to disappoint you. I went to Columbia (Chicago, not New York). It's an art school, doesn't have any sports at all. And by the way, I do love the Illini fans. Kind of a love/hate thing actually. Sometimes they can send some pretty personal, nasty emails. But I enjoy their passion and interest.

John wrote: "You don't have to chip in and trash Derrick Rose every time his name is mentioned. (Although I will concede that you do have a reason to be upset about the whole Eric Gordon debacle...although I think you should be trashing Sampson more than the kid, but that's another story.)"

Actually, for me Rose is a bigger jerk than Gordon. He and Reggie complained about not being treated like "rock stars" by UI. Not exactly your hard workin blue collar Southsider. I think Reggie used UI right up to the end to keep himself and Derrick in the spotlight and keep the heat off of Memphis. He thumbed his nose at a proud Simeon/Illinois tradition. I also just dont think high school phenoms are all that great. They ruined the NBA by bringing AAU ball to the Pros. Never thought I'd see the day when USA ballers get routinely schooled by international players who actually bothered to learn fundamentals. Reggie and Derrick represent the worst of it. Memphis is one and done. Derrick throws up gaudy numbers against Cornpone Tech to hype his draft position. He gets his bling and spends the next 5 years getting schooled by Williams, Parker, Davis and anyone else who took the time to develop a game.

If he thinks he's a rock star then he should get used to the critics...thats the way it works. I might have better things to do but they arent nearly as fun as taking a shot at a self described rock star who hasnt shown the chops to make the main stage.

lets get it straight,Weber made it to the championship with another coaches players,the reason pooh and others chose different schools is because Weber isnt the coach for U of I,the illini need a coach with chicago roots i.e. robert smith,someone whom will commanded the respect of all state basketball players,whom has a history of getting the most out of his student-athletes,i dont know if everyone is aware but one reason thatpooh chose Memphis is because Rod Strickland is an asst coach and with his experience he can prepare pooh for the next level,so stop hating!

How many pro's have Loyola, De Paul and Northwestern produced in the last 4-5 yrs? Exactly. Luckily Chandler might slide in this year but other than that it's been obsolete. Reggie was right about having coaches with Chicago roots in place to recruit. Tracy Dildy (former King PG with Levertis Robinson and Liberty)was recruiting for DePaul when they got Q and the last time DePaul made a run). No dount that too many good players get out of Chi. No one is saying anything about the kid who went to St. Joes who outplayed Rose (at least in the first game), going to Ohio St. (and that was before Connelly and Oden left). Or Tony Freeman Jr. going to Iowa I also see the media giving KG props for coming out of Chicago even if it was only a year.

By the way, where is Ronnie Fields? The one who could jump out the gym who played with Garnett at Farragut, committed to DePaul and never made it there? What about Pierre Pierce (Westmont grad who got kickoff off of Iowa team?

O'Brien said: "Dee Brown would have been booed if the Bulls played the Jazz."

Were you at the United Center when the Jazz were in town? A quarter of the place was wearing orange and chanting for Sloan to put Dee Brown in the game. Even Mehmet Okur thought it was crazy how much orange he sees in the stands at road games they play because of Dee and Deron.

O'Brien responds: Nope, I wasn't there. I actually had tickets, but when they cut Roger Powell (I'm a Joliet guy) I lost interest and gave my tix to a friend who is a big Illini fan. Anyway, I was talking about a playoff series (like Wade and Walker were in against the Bulls). I guarantee Brown would get booed at the United Center against the Bulls in a playoff series. Certainly that one game was a special Illini night.

Damn U haters, As long as Rose comes back to the Chi and gives back he wont have to worry about gettin booed. Depaul Northwestern are both trash squads. Memphis will be in the final four probly even national champs because no one left from last years elite 8 team. Smart decision Rose, Illinois wants him to be loyal but they wont win. He's a winner point blank!

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This page contains a single entry by Michael O'Brien published on June 12, 2007 10:13 PM.

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