Derrick Rose has had many ups and downs since being drafted first overall back in the 2008 NBA draft. He quickly dominated the court and locked up Rookie of the Year and MVP awards in his first few seasons. Four knee surgeries and several team changes followed an ACL injury in 2012. Rose is now back with the New York Knicks and looking to regain some of his old glory.
Derrick Rose returns to the Knicks
Rose originally played for the Knicks during the 2016-17 season, but the team was far from a powerhouse. They won only 31 games that season. Rose was one of the few bright spots, but even he had his struggles. He tore his left meniscus and needed his fourth surgery to correct it. Shortly afterward, he left New York to play with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Rose was just recently traded back to the Knicks, and he couldn’t be happier. He’s reunited with his former coach Tom Thibodeau. With the Knicks’ steady stream of young talent, there are high hopes of getting the team back on track and making the playoffs.
In just a short time with the Knicks, Rose is already making a huge impact. He has been productive off the bench. But his role of mentoring the rookies, Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin, has also benefited the entire team.
Derrick Rose plays with a rookie phenom
Immanuel Quickley is just what Knicks fans have been hoping for. After fans watched losing season after losing season, there’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel: 21-year-old Quickley. Already making waves in his first NBA season, the point guard is averaging 12.1 points and 2.6 assists so far.
He’s also gotten plenty of guidance from Rose, a former rookie standout himself. Both played their college ball under head coach John Calipari (Rose at Memphis and Quickley at Kentucky). Thibodeau was Rose’s head coach his first year in the league.
Even though Quickley’s only attended two NBA games growing up, one of them featured his future teammate. He grew up outside of Baltimore, so he went to a Wizards game and saw Rose face the team. Now the two are teammates and working to get the Knicks back to their former glory.
The rookies and the veteran
The addition of Rose to the team is twofold. First, he’s there to make an impact off the bench. Second, he’s needed to help guide the new guys on the team. He made that clear when he met up with Quickley and Toppin at a dinner near the start of the season.
Quickley recounted the story to GQ, saying Rose’s intentions were direct. The veteran told the rookies, “Look, I’m not here to try to take over anything, I’m just here to play hard and help you guys get better.” Then, in the next game, he told Quickley, “If you get it, don’t be looking for me. Just go up and do your thing; and the same thing, if I get it, I’ll go up and do my thing, we’ll just play off each other and things like that.”
Quickley appreciated Rose’s words. He finds that playing with a welcoming, open-minded veteran creates a better team environment and shows in their on-court play. So far the addition of Rose has been a welcome one. The team is 6-4 in their last ten games, and with Quickley and Rose working together, there are only more good times to come.