Derrick Rose made a few unfortunate plays down the stretch of the Chicago Bulls' stunning Game 5 loss to the Miami Heat on Thursday. Miami went on an 18-3 run in the final minutes to turn a 12-point deficit into a three-point win; LeBron James and Dwyane Wade did everything for the Heat, on both ends. In those final four minutes, Rose had two turnovers, fouled Wade on a three-pointer for a four-point play, missed a critical free throw and saw his attempt game-tying three in the final seconds blocked by James.
Q: Derrick, can you give your overview of the series, and try not to blame yourself too much in the process?
Rose: It was me. Turnovers, I guess fouls, if you call it that. If anything, you just learn from it and just try to do better next year.
Bizarre, qualified nature of the first kid gloves question aside, this is vintage Rose: he's humble, gentle and welcomes the blame. If anything, he's seemed more uncomfortable in success -- uncomfortable with sprawling platitudes -- because he knows holes exist in his game. (Miami put those on full display.) That personality trait is what pushes him to work so hard, what turned him from an All-Star reserve into an MVP.
Of course, it's not all his fault. Plenty of it -- especially at the end of Game 5 -- is. He was just bad in the closing minutes; if LeBron had a stretch like that on this stage, a wide swath of the talking-head punditry and sports talk radio would explode in glee instantaneously. Rose is perceived differently, in part because of his humility. Maybe it's not fair to the more self-assured (or just plain cocky) NBA stars like LeBron, but it's never going to change.