Derrick Rose‘s navigation over the last few years has had up and downs after suffering multiple ACL and MCL injuries that changed the trajectory of his career.
But last year’s performance was undeniable.
For those tardy to the party: In February, D-Rose was the T-Wolves’ leader in assists and their second-leading scorer behind All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns.
It all began a season before during the 2018 NBA Playoffs by averaging 14 points per game coming off the bench for Minnesota. He also shot an impressive 50.9 percent from the field and shot 70 percent from downtown.
What’s been the secret to his success? “Evolve,” Dwyane Wade tells me of D-Rose.
“It’s somebody that had to change his game because of injury and he came in very explosive.”
Rose’s rise back to high-level NBA productivity has been inspiring.
He’s shown flashes of athleticism over the last couple of seasons in stints with the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers and then the Minnesota Timberwolves the last couple of seasons.
Rose did drop 50 points in a game against the Utah Jazz this season.
For those tardy to the party: 34 of Rose’s points were scored in the second half of the Timberwolves’ 128-125 win.
Many scoffed when Kevin Garnett suggested to me last summer that Rose could be a steady starter at point guard for the T-Wolves this season.
“Yeah, I would,” Garnett, an NBA Champion, former league MVP and multiple-time NBA All-Star told me.
“Hear the man out! “It’ D-Rose. You know, you get older, but the knowledge don’t go anywhere. He’s more crafty now than ever in the pick-and-roll. He’s able to get shots for guys and he’s able to knock shots down, so yeah, I would.”
“Derrick has always been great,” Karl-Anthony Towns told me of Rose.
“He’s an amazing player, an amazing teammate. You can’t say anything but good things about Derrick Rose. He’s probably one of the humblest people that I’ve ever met and it just speaks to his character.”
Dwyane Wade echoes similar sentiments of Rose. “He’s explosive in a different way now,” he tells me.
“He plays the game with so much smarts and his pace is incredible. He’s explosive underneath the basket just as good as he was above he still has a lot left in the tank.”
Before last season began, Derrick Rose was a 34-1 longshot to win the NBA’s 6th Man of the Year Award, according to FanDuel.
Although he didn’t win it, back in March, he was a betting favorite (-145) to win 6th Man of the Year.
“The thing about D-Rose’s entire career is that when my dude is healthy, he’s big time, point-blank period,” retired NBA player, Quentin Richardson told me.
“When he’s healthy, he’s big time. And so that has been the only concern I really had with him throughout is when he’s been injured. I mean, as you know, prior to any of the injuries, I had no concerns, he had been big time throughout and that’s still my consensus.”
Derrick Rose was the first pick in the 2008 Draft by the Chicago Bulls. A native of the city’s South Side, Rose was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2011.