Somewhere, ESPN First Take's Skip Bayless is wiping egg off his face. The controversial analyst has been highly critical of Derrick Rose over the course of his career. Bayless most recently questioned the Bulls' Rose on his clutch ability following a heart-wrenching loss to the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
"Derrick Rose: questionable clutch gene. Missed 2 late FTs, 2 last-second shots."
In only his second game back after tweaking an ankle injury, Rose responded on the court with the kind of last second heroics reserved only for NBA legends..
With the clock winding down and the Bulls on the ropes down by three, the pride of Chicago glided effortlessly down the floor. Each and every fan at the Palace of Auburn Hills was acutely aware of who would have the rock in his hands for the last shot when the Bulls' Rose released the ball.
Time slowed as the ball lazily followed its arc toward the rim.
SWISH... nothing but nylon!
The Bulls went on to win the game in OT, 100-94.
You have to be clutch to drill that shot with such confidence and ease-of-motion.
Might it be a one-time fluke?
Just ask the L.A. Lakers, who the three-time All-Star beat on Christmas Day with a last-second floater, or the Milwaukee Bucks who the Bulls' Rose finished off with a sweet mid range J. Possessing the elusive "clutch gene" doesn't mean you hit every last-second shot, or drill every single late game free throw. Just ask Kobe Bryant or Dwyane Wade.
Heck, take it from the Godfather of the NBA himself, Chicago's own Michael Jordan:
"26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot, and missed. I've failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
When the lights burn brightest, Rose usually performs at his best, plain and simple.
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Photo via Wikimedia