Unfortunately, Rose has undergone four knee surgeries since winning MVP, robbing him of his elite athleticism and jumping ability. The former Bulls superstar has also had surgery on his eye and elbow, and all the injuries took a toll on him mentally and physically, so much so that Rose almost retired in 2017.
However, Rose is a fighter and never gave up on his NBA career despite his setbacks, and his perseverance caught the eye of former small forward Jamal Mashburn.
Jamal Mashburn on Derrick Rose: I admire his tenacity
During an interview with Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles on the Knuckleheads podcast, Mashburn spoke about his admiration for Rose, who has resurrected his career after being out of the NBA for one month during the 2017-18 season.
“Derrick Rose is the MVP and then had knee issues. So that in itself is difficult to deal with, you know what I mean, where you have to reinvent yourself, and you have to really love the game,” Mashburn said. “You can’t love the money, you know, you can’t love the lifestyle. For him, he could have sat down, and nobody would have said nothing, you know what I mean, but he continued. So I admire his tenacity, his will, and his ability to have the self-awareness to modify his game. Longevity in the NBA isn’t about how high you can jump. It’s how can you manage your decline of athleticism while your skill level goes up.”
Before his ACL injury in the 2012 playoffs, Rose was arguably the fastest player in the game and routinely dunked on people. After his four knee surgeries, the three-time All-Star had to change the way he played, and Mashburn can relate to that since he had to do the same thing following his microfracture knee surgery in 1995.
Like Mashburn, Rose never lost his love for basketball despite the injuries, and the Chicago native has had a successful second chapter of his career like Monster Mash.
Derrick Rose and Jamal Mashburn overcame their knee issues
After his devastating microfracture knee surgery, Mashburn averaged 18.2 points with Dallas, Miami, Charlotte, and New Orleans. He also made the 2003 All-Star team, an impressive accomplishment since he was 30 and basically playing on one leg.
While Rose hasn’t made an All-Star team since his ACL injury, he has re-established himself as one of the top point guards in the NBA after being out of the league for a short time in 2017-18. He averaged 18.0 points with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2018-19 and 18.1 points and 5.6 assists with the Detroit Pistons in 2019-20. The Memphis product also scored a career-high 50 points against the Utah Jazz on Oct. 31, 2018.
Mashburn finished his career with averages of 19.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.0 assists in 611 games. As for Rose, his career isn’t finished yet, and he’ll once again be tasked with leading the New York Knicks‘ offense in 2021-22.
Knicks re-signed Windy City Assassin
The Knicks were 11-15 when they acquired Rose from the Pistons on Feb. 8, 2021. The 2008-09 Rookie of the Year appeared in 35 games with New York following the trade, and the team went 24-11.
Rose averaged 14.9 points and 4.2 assists while shooting 48.7% from the floor with the Knicks in the 2020-21 regular season. He put up 19.4 points and 5.0 assists per game in the 2021 playoffs and was New York’s best player. Head coach Tom Thibodeau knows how valuable Rose is, which is why the Knicks re-signed the veteran guard on a three-year deal.
Mashburn never played for the Knicks during his career, but he did grow up in New York. The Kentucky product certainly knows the pressure that comes with playing in the Big Apple, but Rose proved in 2020-21 he’s more than capable of handling it. After all, this is a player who played in his hometown and has come back from four serious injuries.