The ongoing debate: Rose or James?

Posted by By at 16 May, at 19 : 07 PM Print

Last night the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat squared off in the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals.  While the game was about the Bulls dominating the Heat, it also brought to light a new debate.  If you were to start a NBA franchise and you had the choice between Derek Rose and LeBron James, who would choose to start with.  To posit this question one should look at the careers of these two perennial all-stars.

Looking at LeBron James’ career, fans have been able to watch one of the best athletes of the NBA blossom into a nearly unstoppable player.  LeBron for his career averages 27.7 points per game, 7 boards, and 7 assists.  He shot 47.9% from the field and 32.9% from 3.  James also has 32 triple doubles which puts him in the top 10 of all time.  Statistically speaking LeBron James has accomplished almost everything an athlete of his caliber possibly could.  He has multiple MVP awards; however, all the hardware has not gotten him an NBA championship.

Derrick Rose is just 3 years into his young career in the NBA so there is not much of a track record.  So far in his young career, he has constantly improved his jump shot.  He has improved his 3-point percentage by 10 percentage points.  The only reason his field goal percentage went down was because the attempted 3-point shot.  He has extended his range to the point where people have to defend him on the perimeter.  His career numbers are paltry compared to LeBron (20.9 points, 6.7 assists, 3.9 Boards).  He became the youngest player in the NBA to win the MVP award.  Derrick Rose has cemented himself as one of the elite NBA players, but does he have the credentials to be picked to start a franchise over LeBron James.

I am just one writer, but if I had to form an opinion I would have pick Derrick Rose.  There are various areas that make him more interesting, but to pick one characteristic that makes Rose’s value higher than LeBron would be the position.  Derrick Rose plays point guard, a premier position in the NBA where there are only around 5 who can take a sub-par team to a play-off caliber team.  LeBron James is a small forward who has the ability to play point-forward; however his value is at the forward position.  Do not get me wrong LeBron James himself can play a above-average point-guard; however, he is a score first player.  Derrick Rose is a point-guard who can also score.  He has been conditioned to be a distributor because that is what he is supposed to do.  LeBron has always been a score-first take all the glory kind of player.  I would love to get some feedback on what other people think, but if I had to pick one player to start a franchise, Derrick Rose would be the the player I would pick.


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  1. JoelFranESPn, 9 years ago Reply

    LeBron is a pass-first player that would rather facilitate than score. D.Rose is a scoring guard masquerading as a point guard. Chris Paul, Deron Williams,Rajon Rondo, and Steve Nash are “true point guards”. Rose is a more scorer than point guard. JMO

    • mfidler, 9 years ago Reply

      Would you prefer LeBron over Rose? My feeling is LeBron’s growth will be stunted by playing with Bosh and Wade, whereas Rose can grow. Miami would still be a playoff team without James. I am not completely sure that the Bulls without Rose would be in the playoffs.

      • Zig, 9 years ago Reply

        I disagree..Lebron will only get better playing with Wade and Bosh every night….I don’t think we’ve seen the ceiling for either of these players…..

        • Michael Fidler, 9 years ago Reply

          While you might be right, I still wonder what your opinion is about which player you would rather start your franchise with?

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