DERRICK Rose is convinced it’s only a ‘matter of time’ before he regains his status as one of the elite point guards in the NBA.
Rose spoke to reporters after Knicks practice on Monday (Tuesday, Manila time), where he confidently declared he’s still an elite player in the league and he has all season to do the work to back up his talk.
“Yeah, but I know I am. That’s no surprise to me. It’s only a matter of time until I put it together,” said Rose, as first reported by ESPN’s Ian Begley.
“All the hard work I put in, everything, how I dedicated my whole life to this game, what I sacrificed. It’s only a few that did it and that’s doing it. So it’s all about just putting it together,” he added.
Rose, who became the youngest MVP in NBA history when he won the award in 2011, has struggled to return to top form after being devastated by significant knee injuries after that season. The 28-year-old guard has even missed more than 60 percent of the games with his former Bulls team in the past five years before he got traded in the offseason to the Knicks.
But Rose did have a decent final season in Chicago when he averaged 16.4 points and 4.7 assists, and he’s looking forward to keep his progress going in New York.
“I’m very excited. We got a lot of great pieces. We’re learning how to play together. We’re learning chemistry. But it comes from experience and it comes from playing with each other,” said Rose, who returned to the Knicks training camp Friday after spending over two weeks attending to a civil trial on gang-rape accusations from an ex-girlfriend that was dismissed.
Rose is even more eager to play with the Knicks roster, led by Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Brandon Jennings, and his former Bulls teammate Joakim Noah.
“It’s pick your poison. My job is to create a double team so the weak side has a hard time closing down on shooters,” he said.
Anthony is equally excited to have Rose with the Knicks, who are set to make their season opener at Cleveland against the reigning champ Cavaliers on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time).
"I don't think he's playing with any type of load on his shoulders, he's not thinking about injuries. Whereas before he was coming into training camp rehabbing, now he got a chance to just practice and put everything behind him and focus on basketball,” he said.
“So when you have a talent like that who is coming into the season with a clear mind and a focus that he has, it can be exciting," added Anthony.