In an interview on the “Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz” on South Florida’s 790 the Ticket, ESPN’s Bill Simmons got pretty heated when talking about the differences between the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat. It starts at the 12 minute mark of the interview. (You have to click on his name to hear the interview.)
Yes, Rose has been the best player on a Bulls team that has been the best team in the Eastern Conference, but Rose has not been the BEST player in the NBA this year. I will not argue against his MVP candidacy as I really don’t care about the award because it does not mean anything. LeBron has won the past two MVP awards and failed to reach the finals both years.
But it’s preposterous to say that Rose, who is not a great defender, is playing better right now than anybody in the league when he is 7th in scoring, 7th in player efficiency, and 10th in assists. No matter how you want to measure it, Rose has not been the BEST player in the league this year.
However, the Bulls are the BEST team in the Eastern Conference in a year where everyone was convinced it would be Boston or Miami. Rose is the BEST player on the BEST team, therefore he is the MVP. I have no problem with that.
I do have a problem with Simmons saying that he is playing as good as LeBron James, who is 2nd in the league in scoring, 1st in player efficiency and averages only 1 less assist than Rose as a forward. Thus there is not argument that can be made that Rose has been a better basketball player than LeBron this year.
Simmons continues to add that if LeBron “truly wanted to win he would have chosen the Bulls.” Arguing that the Bulls roster with James is clearly better than Miami’s. He is right, adding James to the Bulls current roster would make them better, the problem is that its simply not possible and never was.
Chicago would not have been able to keep both Luol Deng and Joakim Noah if they added James and Wade along with Carlos Boozer in free agency. Some type of trade would have been necessary to free cap space. In addition, ball dominant Derrick Rose would have faced similar issues in playing with ball dominant LeBron and Dwyane that the Miami Heat faced early in the season.
Furthermore, if LeBron did not make the correct move to “win,” then why is it that when the move was made, Simmons (among others) accused James of being a coward and unable to win on his own. He is playing the result of this regular season. It is a lazy opinion, a popular opinion. One that a nation full of Heat haters will applaud. Congratulations Bill.
I’m not taking anything away from what Rose and Chicago have accomplished this year, they have been great. Tom Thibodeau has done an incredible job this year in making Chicago the best defensive team in the league, and Rose has certainly elevated his game to superstar status and is deserving of the MVP award.
I am just sick of Bill Simmons’ hate for the Miami Heat. It is tired. I’ve said all season that I understand why fans do not like what LeBron did, but Simmons, being a professional, should know better.
The Sports Guy is great at what he does and I am a fan of his work, but he is clearly letting his emotions get the best of him when it comes to LeBron James and the Miami Heat.