Derrick Rose is a case of a player who doesn’t seek fame, stays off social media, but remains immensely popular.
The most recent example was Saturday’s victory over the Pelicans, when the Garden fans successfully and loudly insisted that Tom Thibodeau insert Rose into the game in rubbish time. It was Rose’s first appearance since December—and a tough one, considering he missed all four field goal attempts—but it served as another reminder that not only fans appreciate his presence, but so do his teammates.
“D-Rose, that’s a legend,” said Julius Randle. “This is a legend and he is not playing. Obviously, he still has some energy and he can still play. But that’s not his role on this team. I would say he is having just as much, if not more, a vocal impact as a leader for us. He is constantly talking to me, giving me advice. His impact is huge. I love seeing him on the floor.
As the Daily News reported two weeks ago, buying Rose’s contract isn’t entirely out of the question. However, Rose isn’t forcing a change and he’s comfortable in New York with his son playing AAU basketball in the Bronx for the Gauchos.
Rose is also 34 with a long list of previous injuries, leaving questions as to whether he will carry on after his contract expires this summer.
Meanwhile, fans of the youngest MVP in league history can’t get enough. Rose was also the Knicks’ second-highest vote-getter for the All-Star game this year, behind only Randle and ahead of Jalen Brunson.
Only Rose can be unexpectedly dropped from the rotation and become more sympathetic.
“It’s D-Rose, man,” said RJ Barrett. “He is incredible, especially for me as a kid, I was 8, 9 years old when he came into the league. And just like a basketball fan, seeing all the amazing things he was able to do. Just being around a guy like that every day is special.”
CELTICS LOSES AN ALL-STAR
Jaylen Brown did not play on Monday for Boston against the Knicks for ‘personal reasons’.
A source said it was a family matter.
The East All-Star reserve averaged 26 points in his two games against the Knicks. After a victory over the Sixers on Saturday, Brown complained about the fans in Philadelphia.
“I started talking to one of the fans because it got a little excessive where it got a little disrespectful and stuff like that,” Brown said. “Even before the game, we were walking into the arena and there were people saying, ‘I hope you tear your anterior cruciate ligament.’ And it’s just that I understand that people care and love the team that they root for, but I think sometimes it’s a little excessive.”
Much of the Knicks’ success this season can be traced back to the signing of Brunson, who quickly showed Thibodeau his worth as a leader.
“It was immediate and probably the most important thing was the leadership,” said Thibodeau. “And he is a connector. He connects with everyone. I mentioned this to Leon when it first happened. Almost immediately, he was at the gym in the summer and started working out. Was he alone. At the end of the two weeks, there were like 10 guys there, and that’s the kind of guy he is. He’s always been like that. He’s a guy who prioritizes the team. And it’s not just anything he says. He’s not a chest-beating type of guy. It’s more what he does. It’s just when you walk in and you’re watching the intensity and concentration of each workout and if he goes to the weight room, he’s doing the same thing. And I think that’s the best example you can have. This is the best leadership you can have. And so, I think that set the tone for everything.
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