Athlete Of The Week: Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls

Rose leads Bulls to best record in league.

James LeBeauby James LeBeau

Move over Boston and step aside Los Angeles, there's a new team atop the leaderboard when it comes to the top record in the league and it has a classic feel to it. With the Chicago Bulls win over the New Jersey Nets Wednesday night and San Antonio's loss, they have claimed the best record in the NBA at 62-20, thanks mainly to the runaway favorite for MVP, Derrick Rose.

Rose has led this young and feisty Bulls team to the top spot in the league through determination, drive and skill. He is averaging 25 points. 4 boards, and 7 assists a game and to be honest, his contributions to this Bulls team is even bigger than those stats indicates. Without Rose, this team would be struggling to be .500. With him, they are the best in the league.

Rose is a perfectionist who pushes himself at every opportunity. He strives for excellence and unlike other stars, he wants to bring his teammates along for the ride. Rose is also a realist who understands that while getting the best record in the league is a good thing, it's only one step on the road to the championship.

"I'm happy, I'm definitely happy," Rose said. "I wouldn't like to be on a losing team, but what's the point of celebrating now when you can get knocked out in the playoffs?"

Along with clinching the number 1 overall seed in the NBA playoffs, Rose has reached another milestone this week, he is set to be on the cover of the upcoming April 18th issue of Sports Illustrated. The story that features Rose is about the growing trend in the NBA where teams are generating their offense from the perimeter rather than the post. He is the first Bulls player to get a SI cover since Michael Jordan on Jan. 25, 1999.

Rose will hope to avoid the SI cover jinx, a well-documented fact, when the Bulls open the postseason against the Indiana Pacers this Saturday.

Photo Courtesy of: AP Images