CHICAGO -- With the crowd chanting "M-V-P" in the final 4.3 seconds Tuesday night at United Center, Derrick Rose walked away from the free-throw line feeling like Will Ferrell's comically inept character from the movie "Semi-Pro."
Rose even apologized, despite the fact his 32 points and nine assists led the Chicago Bulls to a 99-95 victory against the New Orleans Hornets. The issue? He knew he cost each fan in the sellout crowd of 21,919 a free Big Mac. McDonald's gives away its signature burgers every time Chicago scores at least 100 points in a win at home.
"I feel like Jackie Moon off of 'Semi-Pro,' " Rose said. "That's all I was thinking about, man.
"I saved McDonald's a lot of money, so they should be happy."
In the 2008 film, Moon was owner and coach and also a player with the
American Basketball Association's Flint Michigan Tropics, who had a promotion one night in which they gave away free corn dogs if they scored at least 125 points. With 30 seconds left in the game and the financially strapped Tropics leading 124-117, Moon pleaded with his teammates -- saying they didn't have corn dogs -- to run out the clock. He even blocked a shot by a teammate, but another teammate eventually scored. Moon fled the arena.
Rose didn't run, although he might have if he had been at the United Center the night former Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich was in a similar situation, when he led the Bulls to victory but missed a free throw that would have given them 100 points, and was loudly booed while being interviewed on the court after the win.
But those were different circumstances for a struggling Bulls team, and Rose -- whose misses were greeted with some boos -- is a beloved Chicago native who has led the team back to prominence. It was his jumper with 19.4 seconds left that put the Bulls up for good against the Hornets. He also hit two free throws with 10 seconds left for the final result.
"I loved it," he said of making two before his two misses. "I loved it. If you look back at it, (I was) talking to myself. It felt good. But I'm sorry for the other two (misses)."
Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.