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Early Bloomer
LEE JENKINS
November 24, 2008
Ten years after the departure of Michael Jordan, the Bulls finally have a player they can build around in No. 1 draft pick Derrick Rose, a native son who quickly has become the face of the franchise
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November 24, 2008

Early Bloomer

Ten years after the departure of Michael Jordan, the Bulls finally have a player they can build around in No. 1 draft pick Derrick Rose, a native son who quickly has become the face of the franchise

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But Rose's presence is still felt at Englewood's Murray Park, where he once showed up to play basketball despite having broken his right arm climbing a tree earlier in the day. On draft day about 200 Englewood residents gathered at the park to listen to the radio broadcast. They grilled hot dogs, shot three-pointers and munched on gummy bears—a sweet tribute to Pooh. "When the Bulls picked him, we jumped for joy," says John Paul Jones, a community leader who organized the event.

With Rose's sterling start, excitement has given way to expectation. On an overcast afternoon this month 15-year-old Davonta Bishop walked through the autumn leaves at Murray Park, raindrops falling on the brim of his Cubs cap. Bishop has played several pickup games with Rose—"Yeah, Pooh's dropped me some dimes," he says—and he is asked how long it will take for his running mate to deliver a championship to Chicago. Jordan, of course, needed seven years to win his first one and then reeled off five more in rapid succession.

"Derrick Rose is a young guy and people have to realize he is going to need time to mature," said Bishop, himself a precocious point guard. "Give him a year or two."

A Bullish Start

Derrick Rose's numbers through Sunday's games stack up favorably against the rookie statistics of the point guards taken in the top five of the previous three drafts.

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