There comes a time in every sports fan’s life when we start to feel old. Often, it’s when certain athletes whom we’ve watched grow up have the audacity to get old right before our eyes. Consider the experience of the fan who watched Karl Malone (‘85) and Scottie Pippen (’87) get drafted, become superstars, retire, and then get inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. That’s a long time.
As Dime Magazine has grown older – we are now in our 10th year as a publication – we’re starting to see guys grow up in our pages. We profiled Rudy Gay as a hungry high schooler, then again after he’d been drafted and bought his first Range Rover, and now he’s signing $80 million contracts to be the face of the Memphis Grizzlies and can buy a fleet of Ranges if he wants. We put Tyreke Evans on the cover when he was 16, and now he’s been handed the keys to the Sacramento Kings with an NBA Rookie of the Year win under his belt. Others we gave ink to a decade ago as stars have since become legends both celebrated (Ray Allen, then in Milwaukee, was featured in Dime #1) and criticized (Allen Iverson, now in Turkey, was our Dime #1 cover).
Derrick Rose is one of those kids we’ve watched grow up. He first graced our pages in 2006, when we ranked him the sixth-best player in high school following a breakout summer where he put bigger stars like O.J. Mayo on blast. Five years later, D-Rose very well could be the sixth-best player in the world, if not better. We watched him take the Memphis Tigers to the brink of a national championship (although the NCAA swears we never saw it), then we watched him get drafted No. 1 overall, then we watched him become the best thing the Chicago Bulls have had since Jordan.
In that time, D-Rose has grown from an almost painfully shy kid to a grown man comfortable in his own skin, on and off the court. Our emphasis in this issue, Rose’s second Dime cover, is on his off-court development: How he has become one of the NBA’s top ambassadors and most bankable pitchmen. Because as much as D-Rose’s game has evolved from the time we first printed his name, watching him mature into a true superstar has been more startling.
It’s enough to make us feel pretty old.
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(Dime #63 is on sale now on newsstands nationwide. In addition to Rose, the issue includes features on Kevin Love, Dwyane Wade and Greg Oden, a fashion spread with Raymond Felton, the amazing story of University of Central Florida point guard A.J. Rompza, as well as interviews with Waka Flocka Flame, Lou Williams, Deion Sanders, Bucks GM John Hammond, and much more. Check it out.)