Paul George Sounds Off on Considerable Impact of Bulls Legend Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose Bulls Knick

Getty Derrick Rose warms up ahead of a game between the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls.

The New York Knicks are currently deadlocked in their first-round bout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but former Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose has yet to factor into the series. Much as he did during the regular season, the former MVP is serving in his role as the veteran voice on Tom Thibodeau’s bench.

However, that D-Rose mystique remains omnipresent in the Windy City and among the ballers who went toe to toe with him during his prime years.

On the April 17 episode of his show, Podcast P, LA Clippers star Paul George recounted his early playoff battles with Rose and the Bulls. And, very clearly, those matchups made an impression on him.

“It was crazy matching up with him and seeing him in front of me, because I’m not going to lie, that year, bro, he was untouchable,” George described. “He was untouchable. He looked bigger than what he was, he looked taller than what he was, he just had a stature that was bigger than what he was.

“I felt I played good against him, then I look at the box score and [he scored 40 points]. Like, god damn I thought I was on his s*** today.”

George further opined that his experiences with Rose helped inform the player he would become over the next several years.

“From that series I learned a lot,” George confessed. “To be honest, that series took me deep into my career, in terms of, if I can guard him then I can match up with anyone… because I’m not gonna play anyone faster than him, I’m not going to play anyone more explosive than him… I took that and ran with it.”

Ex-Bull Derrick Rose’s Run With the Knicks Took a Big Left Turn This Season

Before getting full-on benched in December, Rose was still a regular part of Thibodeau’s rotation in NYC, and why not? The ex-Bull was a key instigator in the Knicks’ 2021 playoff run and many felt that his injury problems last season were a major factor in their fall from postseason grace.

In 2022-23, however, Rose has been unable to make the same kind of waves that he had in recent years. As a result, he was limited to just 27 regular-season appearances for the club, averaging 5.6 points, 1.7 assists and 1.5 rebounds in 12.5 minutes per game.

Still, he continues to be an important part of the goings-on in the Big Apple.

“I think it’s great for us to have him — and not just with our point guards,” Thibodeau said in February, via the New York Post. “He’s been a great mentor to Jalen [Brunson], but also to [Miles McBride] and [Immanuel Quickley]… all the young players on our team. He’s just such a great teammate and he’s been through so many things, has a great understanding of the NBA.

“I like to have him around me because he has a very positive impact on our group.”

Apparently, the feeling is mutual. While Rose’s name came up frequently in the post-trade-deadline buyout chatter, the point guard never pushed for a change of scenery.

D-Rose Announces Major Summer League Venture

His on-court inactivity notwithstanding, the 34-year-old Rose continues to be a mover and shaker behind the scenes. And his next big endeavor figures to take him further away from the hardwood (for a couple of days this summer, anyway).

As announced via his Twitter account on Tuesday, Rose is officially launching a brand new, big-time chess tournament — appropriately dubbed Chesstival. The event, which is set to take place on July 7 and 8, will emanate from Resorts World in Las Vegas, Nevada, alongside the NBA Summer League.

“The game of chess is something I’ve been passionate about since high school,” Rose said in a release. “Chess is undeniably competitive and strategic at its core, which are two characteristics I’ve carried throughout my career. I am thrilled to bring Chesstival to life at Resorts World Las Vegas and continue to grow interest in chess worldwide.”

Per the Chesstival website, the event boasts a $147,500 prize pool, with a cool $50,000 going to the tourney’s top finisher. The entry fee has been set at $7500.

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