When Bulls guard Derrick Rose was named a backup All-Star Thursday, it marked Chicago’s first All-Star rep since Michael Jordan in 1998. It also gives the Bulls their first bragging right since the same year when their string of six World Championships came to an end.

“We like to say we’re a storied franchise, what with putting those six NBA Championship trophies on our tickets, Web site, business cards, letterhead and wherever else we can stick them,” said owner Jerry Reinsdorf. “But let’s be honest: Other than the Jordan era, we haven’t had much to be proud of. Today, Derrick brings all that to an end.”

Rose was also last year’s Rookie of the Year, but Reinsdorf said the team was reluctant to trumpet Rose as much as then as they will now that he’s an All-Star in his second season.

“Well, you never know in pro sports. One day he’s Rookie of the Year, next day he’s going through a sophomore slump,” said Reinsdorf. “And since it’s the NBA, that sophomore slump could be highlighted getting pulled over doing 115 in a school zone with a trunk full of contraband. Not exactly the kind of thing we wanted to risk.”

By Brad Zibung, founder and editor in chief