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The Heir to the Throne

By Iffat Sumaiya Mehzabeen

Chicago Bulls progressed THIS far? Jordan must be back

The Pick

The Chicago Bulls received the third pick in the NBA draft, and they chose Michael Jordan. This man became Rookie of the Season and went on to score more than ten points in the first ten games of his career, a record by any Bulls draft pick, with the team having remained unbeaten until...

In 2008, The Bulls got the very first draft pick and they decided to choose one of Chicago's very own. The 6'3" point guard impressed all critics and helped Bulls get a second-last place qualification for the playoffs. This earned the Chicago #1 the "Rookie of the Year" award, becoming only the 3rd Bull to do so.

Meet Derrick Rose, the 22-year-old basketball player who has been dubbed the "Next Jordan." Huge responsibilities? Rose doesn't seem to be bothered. As a point guard, his role is rather like the playmakers in a football game. Undoubtedly, Rose's natural leadership abilities make his team-mates appear much better players. Chicago Bulls have built a team around Derrick Rose in the same manner they did so around Michael Jordan in the 90's.

The All-Star Show

Michael Jordan stole the show in the 1998 NBA All-Star Game, in what was the last time Chicago Bulls saw a player in the All-Star Game until…

Derrick Rose was called up to represent the Eastern Conference in the All-Star game. Coming off the bench, Rose scored eight points and had four assists and three steals. He finished his sophomore season in the first round of the playoffs, but still averaged 26.8 points and 7.2 assists.

60 Wins

The Chicago Bulls finished the league with more than 60 wins, thanks to Jordan.

Rose led the Bulls to their first victory over champions LA Lakers since 2006. DR recorded his premiere triple double (double digits in three categories) with stats of 22 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists versus Memphis in January 2011. He scored a career high 42 points against San Antonio in February. This year in the All-Star Game, he was in the starting line-up. The Bulls finished with 60 wins for the first time since 1998. Rose became the third player in the last three decades to have scored 2000 points and provided 600 assists in a single season. The Bulls topped the Eastern Conference table and qualified for the playoffs.

Rewinding the clock to 1988, it was then that Michael Jordan won his first Most Valuable Player Award in his fourth season. Once more, this award was another record untouched by a Bull until…

Derrick Rose, aside from being the second Chicago player, also became the youngest basketball player in NBA history to win the regular season Most Valuable Player, that too, in his third season. Unlike Jordan, who was, by then, the best in the league, Rose had to face tough competition to win this award from the likes of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. The 2010-11 regular season has clearly been his best so far.

And the story continues...
Derrick Rose's fairy-tale season has yet to see an ending. In the first round of the playoffs he helped Bulls breeze past Indiana Pacers four games to one, scoring a total of 133 points in the series. In the conference semi-finals versus the Atlanta Hawks, Rose scored a total of 160 points, including his career high of 44 in the 3rd game of the series. They qualified for the Eastern Conference Finals against the tough Miami Heat. The series is going intense, and Rose has 49 points over the first two games, including a complete domination over the Heat in the first game.

Some say Rose is the next Jordan, while others say he will always remain in MJ's shadows. The argument gets skewed somewhere along the lines of debates on position, style and height. However, there is no denying the immense poise and talent he brings to the court. Age is on Rose's side and only time will tell whether fate will help him as well.

The previous week, we had the topic streetwise. The following story stuck quite close to the topic, and the writer paints quite the vivid picture of ecstasy. For next week, we have the topic: Puddles. It's a simple topic, but as always, we're looking for something innovative. Submissions have to be within 500 words and should be mailed in to ds.risingstars@gmail.com before Sunday noon.


By Hassan Ahmed

The boy basked in his new-found glory. It was a sense of exhilaration; something he had never felt before. There, standing on the streets surrounded by the looming skyscrapers that had once scared him, he thought he finally knew how Rajiv felt when his plans were coming together, why Dipjol laughed when he had his enemies within his grasp.

He was feeling victory.

Ah! It was intoxicating; blood bubbling through his veins with the adrenaline. He had fought hard; he had done what the others had thought impossible. His memories flashed back to a time he vividly remembered. How they had mocked him, taunted him like he was some kind of helpless beast. He paused for a moment to savour the thrill of it all. What would they dare say to him now?

He walked slowly towards them. They looked powerlessly down at the cold grey street. A street all too familiar to them. He amused himself by trying to imagine what they were thinking. How many times had he seen this sight from their view? He had lost count. He looked around him. The evening was fading into the menacing darkness that followed behind it. The last rays of light flickered for a few seconds on the hundreds of faces surrounding him.

He told them what had happened. Boasted to his eager listeners of how he had emerged victorious. How he had gained what few ever dared dream of. They listened awestruck. They reminded him of a time when he was like them; inexperienced. He dared anyone to challenge him, to take from him what he had won. No one moved. He had known this. The hint of a smirk played on his face.

He had craved for this since the womb. He had craved the ultimate status of The Leader; and he had finally achieved it. The leader of the biggest clan in the area. He began to laugh. A slow menacing laugh that echoed through the narrow complex maze of alleys. He laughed at the growing uneasiness around him. He laughed at the years he had spent plotting and scheming. The years he has suffered silently, the torture the others had inflicted upon him. He laughed at the memory of the final battle.

He now had control of the largest group of street kids in the city. He looked at the dim shadows of the audience that now surrounded him. All of them homeless and young; like him. All of them ready to do his bidding. They had grown up on the streets. Learnt quickly that begging was of no use. They had learnt to ignore their conscience as it screamed in protest when they robbed the unsuspecting people passing them on the streets. People who may have had plans, may have had emergencies, may have had dreams. It was immaterial. It is always us before them. On both sides.

Now it was his time to sit back and watch. He would watch as his friends would carefully relieve someone of their belongings. He would sometimes watch them fail to get away. He would watch them get beaten up, arrested. But they would be replaced by others.

And he'd finally have the time to laugh at it all.


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