For the living large, but mama I ain’t done yet/sit back and watch your sun rise/kick back and know your son set — J. Cole, Beautiful Bliss

Eight seconds of silence. Yesterday afternoon, as Derrick Rose reminded us all that the NBA is in a set of more than capable 22-year-old hands, there were eight seconds of silence that spoke louder than all of the words delivered by Gar Forman, Tom Thibodeau and even Rose himself. Those eight seconds came after he said he wanted to thank his mother.

Those eight seconds were eight necessary moments — Joy, peace, pride, recollection, recognition, honesty, gratitude, and love. So much love. Eight seconds that felt like a lifetime, eight seconds that showed 22 years worth of respect, honor and unconditional love.

While Rose spoke for four minutes and 10 seconds — a lifetime of conversation for him — he said all that he needed to with those eight seconds. His voice crackling with emotion, Rose spoke the name of the most important person in the room yesterday.

Brenda Rose.

The lady who raised Rose, pushed and praised, disciplined and believed in him. The woman who used her strength and structure and support to shield Rose from danger, and keep him on the right path. The woman he calls his heart and the woman who gave him his.

While we should probably congratulate Derrick on being named the 2010-2011 NBA MVP before we go any further, we also need to extend our thanks to the lady mentioned above. Thank you for raising a son who recognizes that there is so much more to this world than basketball, even if basketball is the orbit of his.

Thank you for giving us a superstar who is not what we expect in superstars, nor what we’ve grown accustomed to having. A superstar that loves this game so much and works so ridiculously hard at his game, but also at trying to play the game the right way. At being a great teammate and an athlete who goes about his business without much fanfare, but with lots of focus. A superstar who does not care about Twitter followers or social opinion. A superstar who understands the importance of keeping pieces of his private life personal, for keeping basketball as the first priority always and for seeing the bigger picture when so many forget.

“And, last but not least, I want to thank my mom.” Saving the best for last. Amen. Thank you, Brenda Rose.

And, thank you Derrick Rose. At 22 years old, you’re the youngest to do it. As anyone who has ever watched you dominate an opponent and turn in a stunning performance knows, your postgame interviews are the exact opposite of your game. While your work on the court is all kinds of thrilling, taking you away from those 94 feet, talking to you outside of those 48 minutes — well, it’s kind of boring.

Because of this, I was extra interested in seeing what your acceptance speech would be. Excited to see the youngest MVP of the league that I love be handed the regular season crown. What I wasn’t expecting was for that speech to immediately vault into first place in my list of MVP acceptance speeches. Seriously.

Thank you. Not for your basketball brilliance, but for being a good son. I know, not the normal thing for a member of the media to say, but you got me. Those eight seconds rocked me and floored me and stunned me. A day later, they still do.

“And last but not least I want to thank my mom … Brenda Rose. My heart, the reason that I play the way that I play. Just … everything. Just knowing that days that I don’t feel like going into practice, or I’m having a hard time. I think about her when she had to wake me up, go to work and just making sure that I’m alright, making sure the family is alright, those are hard days. My days shouldn’t be hard because I love doing what I’m doing and that’s playing basketball. You keep me going every day and I love you and I appreciate you being in my life.”

Moms always get me. Those eight seconds, the love and admiration and appreciation you have for your mom, I have the same for mine. I wish everyone did. I’m learning, unfortunately, that this isn’t always the case. For me, being raised by a single mother since the age of three, when my father was killed in a boating accident, like you, my mother is my everything.

I wouldn’t be here without her. And while my here is not quite the NBA’s grandest stage, it’s my dream and my stage. The words you spoke to your mom yesterday were the most valuable words spoken in a ceremony of memorable sentences. The smile on your mother’s face made me feel so much happiness, joy, and pride for her. I also felt thankful. Thankful to know that she won’t ever have to work or worry another day in her life.

“My mom … I could win anything and she would be happy for me. It can be anything. She’s just a strong lady and just wants to see her kids do right and for me to win this, I know it’s probably unbelievable to her but it means a lot to me and it means a lot to my family.”

I think that sometimes people lose sight of how amazing it has to be to know you’ve changed the lives of your family forever thanks to a gift and a dream and a lot of hard work. A game can change the future for your family. That has to be the greatest gift. The tears of pride streaming down your mom’s face made me think of my mother, also proud. Proud of me, proud of the daughter she’s raised. The difference here, of course, is that my job doesn’t allow me to retire my mother. She is working in a grocery store where she comes home from long days at work to read my stuff — Hi Mom, I love you — and to learn what Twitter is so she can keep up with me. Sometimes I wish I’d be able to give her the gift you’ve given yours, but words like yours remind me that I’m doing alright, because just like your mom, I know that mine is proud of me.

On a day of celebration for an accomplishment you dreamed up months ago, thank you for giving all of us something to remember. Only days before the official day set aside for recognizing our mothers, thank you for reminding us all that one day isn’t ever enough. Thanks for giving your everything on the floor each night, but also, for showing us the person who means everything to you.

Congratulations, Rose family.

Comments (14)

  1. Great article. Great job.

  2. Congrats on being the REGULAR Season mvp..lets see what he can do in the playoffs..not knocking his great season, but GREAT players are made in the playoffs…

  3. This is really beautiful, Holly. Thank you for writing it.

  4. Tread carefully, for you are in danger of falling into Rick Reilly territory.

  5. @mike

    You’re talking about LeBron James, right?

  6. Another oh-so-beautifully written piece, My Precious Holly. And,yes! You made me cry! Because I was so happy with what you had written. So proud of you and your sincerity and simplicity and because, especially, you and I are so fortunate to have loving mothers and , as you stated, others don’t always have this. I love you and am so happy that you are living and loving your dream. Enjoy every moment!!

  7. GREAT article. well written and heartfelt.

    thank you for this :)

  8. hate to say it, nothing personal, but i’m afraid i think this is the worst article on the entire TBJ site. it’s completely over the top and i almost felt ashamed reading it. yikes. sorry. just waaaay to much of just about everything and written in a style trey would probably make fun of in a different context… or maybe not, but the whole article just doesn’t feel right to me

  9. then again.. who cares. i really don’t want to piss anyone of. sorry for bitching about

  10. Best article, basketball-wise and otherwise, I’ve read in a long time. Inspired writing and you started off with a J.Cole line, crazy.

    Great, great work Holly.

  11. @stackmack is at it again. Great article. I’m not going to lie, I almost teared up when I was watching it live on NBATV.

    I’m with Holly, Mommies all around the world are amazing. They care, they nurture, they do everything in their power to see their children succeed. Sure, not all moms are that way, but for those who are, they’re not appreciated enough.

    That’s why I have a lot of respect for Derrick Rose. He recognizes that his success wasn’t a lone journey. He remembers where he comes from and who helped him reach the high level that he is in right now.

    Geez, it’s not even Mother’s Day yet and I’m already getting teary eyed by the topic of Moms.

    Again, great article here. One of the best articles I’ve read in a while.

  12. @ telecustom – We will always have Holly write in this distinctive manner, and Trey going about in his own style… Somehow I’ve learnt to love them both :) Mayeb they go over the top sometimes, but hey – who doesn’t get carried away in the moment sometimes ;)

    Great article, Rose’s humility is just mindboggling… I wish more and more stars were like this.

  13. ridiculous amount of white knighting every time holly posts something, i wonder if any of any of you feel the need to go overboard with these compliments on other articles written by dudes. as for the article meh…. :)

  14. @Barachat..

    Yes LBJ can be applied to my statement as well.. as he has no championships as well.. regular season MVP means nothing to me personally.. D Rose’s 8 turnovers last night (Game 2) is unacceptable for an MVP in a playoff game and shame on the Hawks for not taking advantage.

    Also, this article is waay over the top.. just my opinion.

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