We’ll start the New Year with a big resolution to feature the hottest hoops mixes as part of SLAMTV. So why not begin with a mix focused on a rookie who has already drastically changed the League in just his first two full months?

Derrick Rose and I have a little bit in common, as we’re both from Chicago and had the chance to watch Michael bring glory to the Windy City and the NBA. It still chokes me up thinking about those 300+ consecutive Bulls games I watched as a child from 1995-98. The similarities between Derrick and me end there, however. Derrick’s begun to bring back the excitement to Chicago, and (more importantly) he’ll bring relevance to a die hard basketball town that’s been neglected in the League’s eyes for 10 seasons, during the Post-Jordan Era.

Last month, Ben asked if I would write something about Derrick for Dome Shot in (our soon to be revealed) Ish 125. Although we haven’t officially announced the issue yet, I thought it wouldn’t hurt if I published this blurb about how much Rose means to Chicago as well as the NBA. I hope you enjoy, and here’s to another happy and healthy New Year! — Ryne Nelson

Greatness retired and left a statue with the city. His symbol. Something that reminded Chicagoans they were witnesses to something greater than sheer luck.

Following his retirement, the statue came to represent hope. Hope that one day the Bulls would become relevant again.

Derrick Rose saw the statue often.

He remembered when half of his third grade class wore red Bulls jerseys on the first day of school in 1997. He remembered the All-Star Games, the Olympics, the Jordan XI, the NBA on NBC and, of course…the Playoffs.

Ten years followed, and no one could set the Bulls on course.

The Bulls needed an All-Star caliber player to bring attention back to the Windy City, and they finally got him via prayer and one lucky ping-pong ball.

Rose is no M.J., but considering the Bulls had only 1.7 percent chance of getting the first pick, you know it was something greater than sheer luck.