NOTHING BUT NET:<br />
Derrick Rose, the Reluctant Superstar<br />
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Derrick Rose

With the NBA playoffs just days away and the chances of the Chicago Bulls faring as well as they have since the Jordan era, the spotlight has never shone brighter on homegrown star Derrick Rose. What a time for the reigning MVP and arguably the league’s brightest young star to be opening up about wanting a whole new profile.

The 23-year-old Rose did just that in a recent GQ Magazine cover story detailing how he now views all the added attention his rising stardom has breed as “just boundaries.” “It gets on my nerves,” he added. I just can’t go out. People are like, ‘You can’t go here, you can’t go there, you got to let that person know where you’re going. It’s just weird. I’m never alone. Ever.”

Such is the price one pays for the level of fame Rose has attained.  And if he actually gets the Bulls anywhere near the point where and all of Chicago dreams of this post season… well, let’s just say all that added attention and pressure Rose now feels will become even more par for the course.

And yet, there’s no denying that Derrick Rose seems nothing like your typical athlete. Amid a landscape where the more color one projects, the more one comes to be saluted and revered, all he craves is isolation.

“Chicago isn't used to stardom,” Rose told GQ. "Back when Michael was here, everyone was used to actors and singers and people being at the games. But there's been a drought since then, and even celebrities, they'll stop here to film a movie and then pop right back out. They don't know how to act toward celebrity. This life doesn't fit my personality."

That’s not to say Rose isn’t appreciative of respectful of the life he’s come to lead. It’s just that he sometimes wishes it came with a disclaimer. Something to the effect: My life is still my life.  

Can it all make for a few misunderstandings or misreadings about just how he is? Absolutely, like the evening of All-Star Game 2012 in Orlando when far more gregarious teammates LeBron James and Dwight Howard did the Dougie and gyrated and to huge applause as Rose sheepishly looked on--- only to be roundly criticized later for not knowing when or how to play to an adoring crowd.

Never that, Rose would have you know.  It’s just that, more often than not, he simply choses to move at the beat of his own drum.  “I can dance,” Rose later said. “But there’s a time and place for that and I don’t think it was right then and there.”

And then there are those who contend Rose’s somewhat subdued and demure nature could ultimately cost him a small fortune in potential endorsement deals. That he doesn’t seem savvy or shrewd enough in the ways of branding and marketing to take full advantage of being the undisputed go-to-guy in one of the world’s biggest and most lucrative markets.

You would think the estimated $250 million lifetime endorsement deal he just inked with Adidas would speak for itself, not to mention the nearly $100 million more he recently snared upon re-upping for five years with his hometown Bulls.

But hey, Derrick Rose isn’t sweating it. Doesn’t have the time. Not with the playoffs and the thrilling hope of leading his boyhood team to it first title in nearly 15-years squarely upon him.