The Chicago Bulls have solidified their desire to bring the NBA championship trophy back to the Windy City by signing their all-star point guard to a maximum extension, five-year $94.8 million contract.
Rose, the electrifying play maker for the Bulls and winner of the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award last spring, the youngest player to ever do so, said the huge sum of money will not change his play.
“I never would have thought in a million years I'd sign a contract like this,” Rose said at a news conference on Wednesday, the Chicago Tribune reports. “No one from Englewood's ever been in my position, so sometimes I think, why me?”
Rose is one of the NBA’s rare home-town success stories, having led south Chicago’s Simeon High School, located in the Englewood neighborhood, in back-to-back state titles in 2006 and 2007. In 2008, during his freshman year at the University of Memphis, he led the Tigers to the NCAA national championship game, and then declared for the 2008 NBA draft.
Drafted No. 1 by the Bulls, he earned Rookie of the Year honors for the 2008-09 season and, since joining the team, has led them to the playoffs each year.
“I would like to thank my teammates and coaches for pushing me,” Rose continued in the news conference. “I'd like to thank the city of Chicago for sticking behind me. I think I can finally say this now: Mom, we finally made it.”
During the news conference, Bulls GM Gar Forman said of Rose, “Probably the greatest aspect about Derrick Rose is his loyalty. I can’t think of anyone who is more deserving of this.”