Derrick Rose Opens up About Relationship With Knicks Star

Derrick Rose, New York Knicks

Getty Derrick Rose of the New York Knicks reacts during the second half against the Indiana Pacers.

New York Knicks star point guard Jalen Brunson was in awe of Derrick Rose when he was growing up in Chicago. Their roles have reversed now that they are teammates in New York.

“I just remember working out with Jalen when I was younger. I used to be in the gym, but I had tunnel vision. So I wasn’t really working out with any kids at that time. I used to always see him, and then I was always like, cool. But he was always in the gym room. Our relationship grew ever since he’s been here,” Rose told Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The 26-year-old Brunson is hitting his prime. He’s now the starting point guard and the acknowledged leader on the court for a young Knicks team that has defied preseason expectations.

The 32-year-old Rose is a decade past from being the NBA’s youngest MVP. He’s now the elder statesman of the Knicks and no longer part of the rotation.

But the Knicks have kept Rose past the trade deadline as a valuable leader off the court. His wisdom and positive locker room presence have helped the team in the background advance past the first round. He takes pride in seeing his young version of Brunson lead this Knicks team to the playoffs.

“I looked at him like a kid or playing against a little boy, but now being teammates with him, it’s a fun position to be in,” Rose told Shams Charania of The Athletic. “Because this whole time, you want to be playing behind somebody that’s a dog. And I feel like JB is a dog. The way that he plays, it’s a Chicago way of playing. The Grittiness. The way that he manipulates the game. I’m in awe almost every night that he plays, even the games he feels he didn’t play his very best. I still love the way he plays.”

Brunson enters the win-or-go-home Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Miami Heat as the Knicks leader in scoring (25.2), assists (5.8), steals (1.7) and minutes (38.9) in their postseason run.

Jalen Brunson Embraces Do-or-Die Pressure

Brunson is trying to rally the Knicks from a 1-3 series deficit against a formidable Heat team that hasn’t been done in franchise history before. The Knicks are 0-14 when trailing 1-3 in a playoff series.

“We can’t shy away from the moment,” Brunson told reporters after Wednesday’s shootaround. “You have to go out there and attack it. You can’t be nervous. You can’t be anxious. You have to go out and give it all. There’s no such thing as pressure or things like that. We worked all season. Players have worked their entire life to get into moments like this. It’s just how we respond, how to stick together and just trust yourself, trust what you’ve worked on, and go out there with everything you have.”

Jalen Brunson’s Dog Mentality

Brunson is playing hurt in the series. Yet he’s given everything he has, leading the Knicks in several statistical categories.

According to SNY’s Ian Begley, Brunson’s left ankle that became sore earlier in the series is still bothering him.

“Sources familiar with the matter say Brunson has gotten treatment basically around the clock to be able to take the floor. Some Heat players did not expect Brunson to suit up for Game 2 due to his ankle/foot injury. He had 23 second-half points in that game to lift New York to a win,” Begley wrote.

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