The Milwaukee show put the former mvp back in the spotlight. Randle swears: “Much better now than when the MVP won”
You can pay Derrick Rose every possible compliment on his splendid start to the season. Just don’t call it vintage. “What does vintage mean? There is nothing vintage in what I do ”he said puzzled after the 23 points with which he dragged New York to 113-98 at Milwaukee, dragging the Knicks to a comeback from -21. The reality is that the 33-year-old in his second life in the Big Apple has rediscovered himself great: maybe not as phenomenal as when 10 years ago he enchanted Chicago and the world, becoming the youngest mvp in NBA history, but still strong enough to make a difference in a team that aims high like the Knicks. And be one of the strong candidates for the Sixth Man of the Year award.
“Stronger than ever”
“Derrick isn’t vintage, he just evolved,” says Julius Randle, the Knicks star and Rose’s partner in crime in the comeback in Milwaukee. The Most Improved in charge has a specific thesis on why the teammate in the number 4 tank top is making a difference: he is playing his best basketball ever. “He is much more complete now than when he won the MVP,” says Randle, paired with Rose in his second season. He understands the game better, he has a clear head. He has a much more complete arsenal now than he had then, and with experience he has better understood how to deal with defenses, developing a high basketball IQ. When he won the mvp he was a great player, but perhaps his strength derived mainly from his athletic strength. He is now a much more complete player. And it has practically no weaknesses ”. “Rose is special – relaunches coach Thibodeau -. And play with Rose, as always ”.
Rose was playing hen for the youngsters in Detroit when coach Thibodeau insisted on the Knicks leadership last season to take him. It was a triumph: for New York, which since having Rose has won 35 games out of 44, and for the former Chicago star, who in the Big Apple has found the tranquility and the coach with whom he reached the highest peaks of the his career. A person to whom he is so attached that he has asked him to be a best man at his upcoming wedding (announced with a proposal to the future bride at a candlelit dinner on the parquet of Madison Square Garden). “I’m in the right place, in a team full of talent – explains Rose -. I don’t have to score 30 points every night, I don’t have this weight: I can only worry about going out on the court and doing what I like best and what gives me joy: playing basketball ”.
The dark years of his career, those in which Rose had thought of quitting because she could not understand how to exploit her body battered by injuries and no longer able to play in the way that had allowed him to become a mvp, are very far away. At 33, Rose is perfectly in control of her new body and has figured out how to use it. “New York allowed me to find my shots, to go back to trusting the conclusions I was taking – said Rose -. I worked a lot on it, I tried to adapt my game to what young people are doing now. And I have more confidence in the conclusions I take, even when I’m wrong ”. It is this trust that allows him to make a difference, this awareness that he rediscovered thanks to coach Thibodeau, who in 2017 in Minnesota gave him a second chance when it seemed that his life in basketball was over and helped rebuild it first and then in New York to exalt it. Rose is no longer the Chicago player: he is a whole new athlete, with other strengths and weaknesses, but with a different understanding of the game and a different technical background that allows him to make a difference. If the first Rose was a lightning bolt that broke the defenses and exploded at the iron, which made the world fall in love with his talent and his misfortunes, this second version is a more mature, more complete player. And in its own way, equally strong.
November 6, 2021 (change November 6, 2021 | 17:25)
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Rose, other than vintage. “It is simply stronger than it has ever been”