The youngest MVP in NBA history now has a goal to be the sixth man of the year.
Derrick Rose, the injury-plagued Bulls legend who now plays for the Timberwolves, said in an interview with NBATV that his goal for this season is to win the award.
“When I was younger I wanted to win MVP. This year coming off the bench my goal is to win Sixth Man of the Year. That’s just my goal.”
So far, that goal seems more than within reach. The former MVP has been consistently going off, and is playing a huge role in the Timberwolves’ success as the first option off the bench.
In case you missed it, he scored a career-high 50 points last month–less than a year after reportedly considering retirement because of continual injury woes.
The Sixth Man Award is in the Cards
Rose says that the key to his recent success is patience; if he could tell his younger self one thing, it would be to have more of it. And young D-Rose was certainly eager. The older, wiser Derrick, though, has realized that sticking to the basics and helping the team is just as productive. And that realization has led to him reaping some serious benefits.
He’s coming off the bench and scoring close to 20 points per game–a number that closely resembles his average in his younger years–and is contributing solid assist and rebound numbers as well.
Last year’s sixth man, Eric Gordon, contributed 18 PPG along with a few rebounds and assists. So it’s not unreasonable for Rose to have his eye on the award. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone more deserving. At this point it’s obvious that he’s regained more of his confidence and athleticism than we’ve seen in a long while–he’s playing carefully, but actively.
If he keeps it up and the Timberwolves do well, the award will be all but his.
The Jimmy Butler Trade Has Given Rose Even More Chances to Shine
For a while it seemed like the Jimmy Butler trade drama might put a stick through the spokes of the team’s prospects, but after a few games without him the Timberwolves are still able to compete with almost anybody in the NBA–Derrick Rose being a key part of that as he contributes close to 20 points per game.
At the time of this writing, Derrick Rose is central to the Timberwolves’ success. And the more successful the Timberwolves are, the more likely Rose is to reach his goal.
In the NBATV interview, he underlined his desire to add yet more accolades to his career–and he made it clear that he doesn’t see the Sixth Man award as being beneath him. If anything, his former glory seems to motivate him. “You want to talk about accomplishments or goals,” he said. “Me coming off the bench…I feel like I could win that award.”
So far, it’s looking like he might.