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Is Derrick Rose the next Rod Strickland?

I write this fully aware that 80-90% of you stopped reading this once you read the title and that's okay.  I write this not to try and convince you that Derrick Rose is going to turn into a guy that's always demanding to be traded and never play in an All-Star Game.  Rose is going to be a tremendous talent in this league for years to come.  I don't come here to convince you that Rose will be a party animal that possesses the rare ability to "find the open man with a blurry-eyed blood-alcohol content of 0.20."  Rose is a much smarter man that.

I make the comparison because Steve Buckhantz brought it up during the Bulls game on Saturday night.  It struck me as a bit odd at first, but the more I thought about it, the more similarities and connections I found between the two.  Check it out:

  • Derrick Rose led Memphis to the NCAA title last year as a freshman.  Who was the Director of Basketball Operations at Memphis?  Rod Strickland.
  • One of Rod Strickland's teammates in his rookie year was Pete Myers.  Pete Myers is now an assistant coach for the Chicago Bulls.
  • Rod Strickland wore #1 for the majority of his career.  Derrick Rose currently wears #1 for the Bulls.
  • When Rose and Strickland were drafted, the Miami Heat had the pick directly after they were taken both times.
  • Derrick and Rod both shot 33% in their first game.

Hopefully by this point you've sent out cautionary letters to Tracy Murray to tell him to avoid all Bulls games this season, but if you can believe it, there's still another bizarre link between the two.  To understand the connection we have to go back to this legendary nugget from The Chat House:

Al - D.C.: We'd all be remiss if we didn't remember Rod Strickland puking up hot dogs during Bullets games.

Michael Wilbon: Yes, and that would often happen on the bench, after Rod ate hot dogs from the press room, sometimes with reporters. This is an actual conversation from a Rod Strickland hot dog grab one night.

Reporter: Rod, you can't eat that. You'll get sick and throw up!

Rod: I know. Won't be the first time...or the last...Can you slide me that mustard?

That's one of the stories that makes Rod the legend he is.  No one could ever pull stuff off like that today and be successful, much less a stud like D-Rose, right John Calipari?

"The kid likes to eat grilled cheese and corn flakes and pizza and candy.  It's a great diet. All I can tell you is, he's like the ever-ready battery. He ate a box of corn flakes the other day and played that way."

All I know is, if Derrick Rose's name gets dropped in some Wu-Tang Clan lyrics, we'll know something is up.  Until then, my only advice for Derrick is to leave it all on the court when he plays.  Well, maybe not all of it.