Bryant, the greatest player in Lakers franchise history, wanted to see Rose play for the 2019-20 LA squad led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose were close
Derrick Rose and Kobe Bryant had a close relationship before The Black Mamba tragically passed away. The youngest MVP in NBA history, Rose used Bryant as his role model to adapt his game over the years after undergoing four knee surgeries.
Bryant played 20 years in the NBA with the Lakers because he adapted his game with the times. After his athleticism started to wear off, Bryant relied more on his deadly jump shot and elite fundamentals to dominate his opponents. That is what Rose is doing now.
“I want to be able to do what Kobe did. He’s my example and the guy I look to and make sure I don’t change my game all the way,” Rose told Rod Beard of the Detroit News during the 2019-20 season. “He didn’t change his game at all, but he was able to play 20 years and still be effective. That’s amazing to me. There aren’t too many people in NBA history, besides the greats, who can do that. I want to be considered one of them.”
Rose is no longer the high-flying guard he was when he won the MVP award with the Chicago Bulls in 2010-11. The three-time All-Star is a more balanced basketball player, as he can score from all three areas of the court due to his improved jump shot.
Kobe Bryant saw how lethal of a scorer Derrick Rose was for the Detroit Pistons in 2019-20, so much so that he wanted the Lakers to trade for the former No. 1 overall pick.
Kobe Bryant told the Lakers to trade for Derrick Rose
The Pistons got several trade calls on Derrick Rose in 2019-20 since the team was rebuilding and Rose was playing at an All-Star level. According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, Bryant told the Lakers to trade for the former MVP.
Despite having trade conversations centered on Rose, the Lakers and Pistons couldn’t agree on a trade. LA won the 2020 title over the Miami Heat in six games, while Rose finished the 2019-20 season averaging 18.1 points per game while shooting 49.0% from the field.
It would have been great to see Derrick Rose win his first championship last season, especially since he’s been through so many injuries. Kobe Bryant wanted it to happen, but the Lakers and Pistons weren’t able to grant one of Kobe’s last wishes.
The Knicks saved D-Rose from the Pistons
Tom Thibodeau saved Derrick Rose from the lowly Pistons, as the New York Knicks traded for the point guard. The deal reunited Rose with Thibodeau, who was the Chicago native’s coach during his MVP season.
Rose is averaging 14.7 points and 4.0 assists in three games with the Knicks, who are 2-1 since acquiring the 32-year-old. New York is in sixth place in the East and could make the playoffs for the first time since 2012-13.
Kobe Bryant’s death still hurts Derrick Rose, who was inspired by Bryant’s grind and love for the game like many basketball players. Kobe was this generation’s Michael Jordan. His tragic passing is something many players in the NBA may never come to grips with.