January 11, 2011
Monday night inarguably belonged to college football in the sports world, but that doesn't mean that everyone else was quiet. As most Americans were watching the high-powered Auburn and Oregon offenses trade punts, Derrick Rose(notes) decided to make a case for basketball.
As you can see above, it was very compelling. After turning a Luol Deng(notes) steal into a fastbreak, Rose took an alley-oop from Ronnie Brewer(notes) and flushed it. If that doesn't sound out of the ordinary, then you didn't watch the video. What makes this play isn't so much the dunk itself as the catch off Brewer's poor pass. Rose didn't get an easy flush here -- he had to reach back behind his head with his right hand and finish in one movement. The improvisation and quick reflexes are amazing.
Chicago won the game 95-82 over Detroit, but the greater victory here was for the sport itself on a night when it played clear second fiddle. There were undoubtedly some great plays in the BCS Championship Game. It just could be that Rose trumped them all, if not in importance, then in technique and artistry.