Originally written on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 7/29/13
One common quality among all elite athletes is a supreme confidence in their ability. Ask the top five athletes in each sport who they believe to be the best in their sport, and you will likely receive 5 different answers. Recently reported in an article written by Nick Friedell, of ESPN Chicago.com, Derrick Rose recently was posed this question in an interview with CNN’s Pedro Pinto.  Rose responded by declaring himself to be the best player in the NBA. When a player misses an entire season because he doesn’t feel comfortable with his knee, it may lead some people may simply read the statement and feel that Rose has lost touch with reality. When discussing best player in the NBA, the answer, much like beauty, may just lie in the eye of the beholder.  In order to accurately answer the question, you need to decide what criteria will be used in determining the answer is it going to be potential or performance? Does being a rising star with a playoff contender enough to merit the title? Does a player actually have to lead his team to the podium at end of June and hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy? Looking at potential, Rose is undeniably in the conversation with the likes of Kevin Durant, Deron Williams, Carmelo Anthony, James Harden and Dwight Howard as players who can lead their teams to the title and the NBA in to the future. Moreover, it still remains to be seen how effective he will be coming back from the knee injury which kept him out of all of last season. Rose has already shown that he has the talent to carry a team on his shoulders and lead his team deep in to the playoffs. But he has yet to lead them to either an Eastern Conference or a NBA crown. In regards to actual performance (in no particular order) Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan would be ahead of him. Whereas these players have been through the playoff battles and came through other side holding up Larry O’Brien trophy. Rose is hindered in the discussion by his short time in the NBA; he has yet been able to go through the battles in the post season that normally are part of the maturation process for NBA Superstars.  Unlike the other players, he doesn’t have a complete body of work that we can judge him on. This high opinion of oneself is not isolated to Rose alone, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Shaquille O’neal all shared the same high opinions of themselves which seemed without merit until they won their first title.  Once a NBA Championship was attained, others began to agree with the individual player’s opinion of themselves. So San Antonio Spurs fans, how accurate do you believe is Rose’s statement?
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