Just one day after missing a pair free throws that cost the Chicago Bulls the game against the Miami Heat, reigning league MVP Derrick Rose said he wants to be thought of as a clutch player.
“That's something I live for,” Rose told the Daily Herald. “I think of my legacy. I want people to think of me as being a clutch player; someone that always comes through the majority of the time when they're on the court. It hurt a little bit, but I know it will help me in the long run.
“I like seeing my city happy, especially if I'm one of the reasons why. I know what we went through after Mike (Jordan) left and all the years that people really didn't watch the Bulls. For them to start watching the Bulls and for the organization to get our fans back, it means a lot to me. Knowing that when you see people, they've got Bulls hats on, Bulls apparel on. It means a lot to me.”
Down by one point with 22.7 seconds, Rose was at the charity stripe for the Bulls in Sunday’s high profile match up against the Miami Heat. Despite having made 12 of 12 free throws on the night, and having sunk all 29 he had taken in the fourth quarter this season, Rose missed both, allowing the Heat to claim a 97-93 victory.
Rose’s gaff was reminded many of his late game meltdown at the free throw line in the NCAA National Championship during his freshman year with Memphis when he missed several critical free throws late in the game, ultimately leading to a Kansas victory. That year Rose shot 71% from the line. This season for the Bulls he has shot 86.6%.