What happens when a 22-year-old point guard scores averages 25 points and 7.7 assists per game and leads his team to 62 wins? He becomes the NBA’s youngest MVP winner in history.
Derrick Rose did just that as the NBA announced the Bulls dynamic point guard as this season’s MVP late Tuesday afternoon. Rose, in his third year, broke the two-year MVP reign of LeBron James by a landslide, with 113 first-place votes. (Orlando’s Dwight Howard was second with three first-place votes.)
Rose was especially effective from 3-point range, where the former Rookie of the Year and All-Star sank 128 after hitting just 16 treys his first two seasons.
The point guard is a year younger than the previous record holder, Baltimore’s Wes Unseld, when the Bullets great won it as a rookie in 1969.
He is also the first Bull to win it since five-time MVP Michael Jordan — not ironically after Chicago’s greatest season since the Jordan-Scottie Pippen combination became the scourge of the NBA.
Rose, who openly opined in training camp about his potential to win the award, will be honored before Game 2 of his team’s Eastern Conference semifinal matchup against Atlanta. Rose has averaged 27 points and 6.8 assists so far in the postseason. His regular-season numbers represented one of the greatest years for any point guard.
A native of the South Side of Chicago, the hometown hero said he will give the award to his mother.
Rose isn’t the only Bull to win an award this year. First-year coach Tom Thibodeau won Coach of the Year for leading the Bulls to the NBA’s top record. But Rose was the producer as he became the league’s only player to finish in the top 10 in scoring (seventh) and assists (10th).