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Columnist
Rose's calm doesn't diminish following huge playoff debut
By Mike McGraw | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 4/20/2009 12:13 AM

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BOSTON - There are plenty of characteristics that help explain why Derrick Rose is such a talented basketball player.

He has great speed, which allows him to sprint down the court as fast as anyone in the league. He sees the court well and understands the game. He also has thick wrists and forearms, which help him go to the basket with such great strength.

But another trait may best explain why Rose is so unusually gifted. It's his calm - powerful enough to deserve its own title. Call it The Calm.

A day after exploding onto the NBA playoff scene with 36 points and 11 assists in the Bulls' 105-103 overtime victory in Boston, Rose entertained reporters with tales of the celebration that followed.

He spoke to his mother by phone, as well as agents B.J. Armstrong and Arn Tellem, then sat by himself and watched three movies in his hotel room - "The Mummy," the animated feature "Coraline" and some superhero movie he couldn't identify.

Usually, Rose has his older brother, Reggie, with him on the road, but Reggie took his AAU basketball team, Mean Streets, to Denver for a tournament and got stranded by a spring snowstorm.

So Rose was alone and never once bothered to flip over to SportsCenter or the other NBA playoff games to watch his own highlights.

"I know what I did in the game," Rose said after Sunday's light practice in Boston. "I think about the days when I didn't have a good game, would I still look at the TV? I know I wouldn't, so why would I look at it after a good game?

"I haven't looked at a paper. People were calling and texting me, but I really didn't get into it. I had my phone on silent. I missed a lot of calls yesterday, but they know I'm here for business."

Heck, a majority of NBA players probably can't wait to get home and watch their own highlights after a big game. It's a reasonable activity, just not for Rose.

"You've got to try to pump him up, see if he has a pulse while he's out there making all those shots," teammate Lindsey Hunter said. "Is the guy even nervous?

"We were talking about this on the sideline (during Game 1). He didn't make one nervous play. Even when he turned the ball over, it wasn't a nervous play where you're unsure. Never made one and it was fun to watch."

Hunter hasn't played much this season and it's obvious the Bulls signed the 38-year-old veteran in large part to serve as Rose's guidance counselor. According to Hunter, that's an easy job.

"He came up to me during the game and there was nothing I had to say to him," Hunter said. "I'm like, 'I can't tell you nothing right now. Do you.' That's exactly what I said."

Hunter doesn't bother checking up on Rose when the Bulls are on the road. Sometimes if an all-star point guard like Chris Paul or Deron Williams is playing on television, Hunter will send Rose a text.

"I always make sure he's watching the guys he's going to try to take the crown from," Hunter said. "It's just amazing how he raises his level of play when he has to. At different times in the season, he would take over quarters. But this was the first time he took over a game from the beginning to finish. To do that as a rookie is pretty impressive."

After the interviews were complete, Rose sat down and looked over some game video on a laptop with assistant Pete Myers, then head coach Vinny Del Negro joined in.

When that was over, Rose simply grabbed his shoes, walked out the door onto Boylston Avenue in downtown Boston and strolled solo back to the team hotel, which was only about a block away, unnoticed by fellow pedestrians.

All in a day's work for basketball's low-key superstar.