A CHICAGO TALE: D.ROSE OPENS UP ABOUT HIS ROAD BACK TO GREATNESS WITH #TheBIGS
"I know who I am"- Derrick Rose (photo by John Alexander-#TheBIGS original photo)
From being one of the most celebrated athletes to ever come out of Chicago to one of the most scrutinized individuals in the sports world today, Derrick Rose has had his full share of ups and downs in his 6 years in the NBA. But the youngest MVP in league history still laughs at those who think he's washed up. Rose opens up about his journey back to greatness in an exclusive interview with #TheBIGS.
When you think of the hoopers in today’s NBA that you can compare to the great Allen Iverson, D. Rose should be one of the first players that comes to mind. Not just for how their athletic ability leaves fans in awe, but also for how they approach their critics and for lack of a better term, their “haters”.
Derrick Rose told #TheBIGS what Allen Iverson’s legacy meant to him; “A.I. was an icon. You felt his presence no matter where he was at. He was someone that was different for the league. He was a little bit more “hood” but he stayed true to himself and true to his fans.”
Centering their approach around being true to themselves, both Iverson and Rose haven’t always told the public what they wanted to hear but have always kept it real. Both Iverson and Rose also had to maintain success in the face of heavy criticism. Iverson’s criticism came from those who believed his image represented everything wrong with the NBA, but what makes Rose’s case unique from AI’s is Rose’s loudest critics are the ones that once loved and supported him.
Right in his hometown, ex-fans of his have declared his career accomplishments ancient history and everything from his commitment to the game to his reputation as a good teammate have come into question. You would think that Chicago’s Native Son who once shouldered the weight of the entire Bulls organization on his way to being the league’s youngest MVP would not have to worry about criticism from hometown fans but like The Persuaders said, "it’s a thin line between love and hate."
With the Bulls seemingly at their lowest point since the dark days of the early 2000’s, the road back to glory for Rose ad the Bulls seems cluttered with questions that continue to surround their point guard. If you’ve paid even the smallest amount of attention to the Bulls over the last year you know what they are. “What’s the deal with Rose and Jimmy?”, “Does Rose still love the game?”, “Do you think Rose can be great again?” All of these have been in heavy rotation from fans as well as reporters.
Today, we can officially lay those questions to rest. #TheBIGS got up with Derrick Rose while in Los Angeles and he set the record straight for good.
Beef between DRose and Jimmy Buckets? What beef? Since May 2015 there have been rumbles of a beef between Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler. The teammates have both tried to publicly dismiss the rumors and declare their dedication to making their on-the-court relationship flourish, but they still haven't seemed to shake the talk of beef between them. In an effort to clear the air for good, #TheBIGS asked Derrick Rose about his thoughts on the rumors of a feud between him and his All-Star teammate.
How is your relationship with Jimmy and how are you guys approaching playing together?
"We're cool. We're really friends, you know. People probably don't know this but my assistant played with Jimmy when Jimmy was in JUCO in Dallas. So, he had the opportunity to play with him and told me that Jimmy was actually working out for the Bulls and might come to the team. So I thought, damn that's crazy. On the court, we're trying to grow and improve as a duo. And off the court, fit in with each other. It's never a hate thing with Jimmy or a hate thing with anyone. I've got too much love to hate someone or try to hate on them because of their game. I wish him nothing but the best and he's making my job easy so I can't complain at all."
"I wish him nothing but the best and he's making my job easy so I can't complain at all."- Derrick Rose on his relationship with All-Star teammate Jimmy Butler (photo by John Alexander- #TheBIGS original photo)
Where is the love?
Mainstream media won't let you forget that Derrick Rose has battled a laundry list of injuries over the past few years. An ACL tear in his left knee in 2012 that kept him out a full season and a meniscus tear in his right knee in 2013 that cut his season short at 10 games have placed him on a road to recovery that he is still journeying through today. Numerous smaller injuries including a broken left eye socket at the beginning of this season have challenged both his mental and physical tolerance. Fans patience has been tested as well. Not to mention he has been the target of countless internet memes that have poked fun at his struggle to stay healthy. #TheBIGS asked Rose if the struggles he's faced on his road to recovery have effected his love for the game.
Can you talk about if you're having fun with the game and if it's the same because of the obstacles that you have had to overcome due to injuries?
"I would say the fun is there. When you have so many injuries, its all about the little things. Making sure you're prepared for the game. Like the night before, stretching, hydrating, drinking your eight bottles. Little things like that that people overlook, I had to take a step back and make sure that I was right because my body wasn't the way that I wanted it to be. My fun for the game, it's been there, it's just that I'm trying to stay healthy and consistent with my workouts but the fun is there."
DRose Washed Up?
Statements like, "Rose is a shell of his old self." ,"Rose will never be the same." ,"Rose is washed up.", have controlled the narrative surrounding DRose since returning from his injuries. They show that we've come a long way from the "M-V-P" chants he use to receive from fans in stadiums around the NBA. But are the struggles Rose has faced on the court with his game a sign of the player he is today or are they merely speed bumps on his road back to greatness? Signs suggest the latter and judging from his recent aggressive style of play and him once again looking too strong and too fast for opponents, Rose wants to let you know he's heard the rumbles.
After all the injuries and everything you've been through, how do you stay on point and what do you have to say to the people that suggest you should pass the torch and that you're washed up?
"Only thing I can do is just laugh at it. That's their opinion. They don't know how great I am or how great I want to become and they don't know how hard I work. So, its funny to hear the people say that. If you were to say those same things in front of me, it's still no hate towards you, it's just that I'll let God handle that. And I'll just deal with my path and my road the way that I want to."
Can DRose still throw down?
There use to be nothing sweeter than watching DRose go upstairs and throw down one of the nastiest dunks you'd ever see a point guard throw down. It was inspiring to teammates, it put fear in opponents eyes, and it put DRose in the Sportscenter top plays segment on a regular basis. So the empty feeling you get when he decides to finger roll it on a fast break instead of throwing it down is understandable. But DRose told #TheBIGS, "dunks don't define my game."
The million dollar question...Everybody wants to know...are you going to dunk the ball again?
"Yeah I can dunk! I dunk in practice, sometimes. But it's just funny to hear. People asking me, "Can you dunk?" or whatever. But dunking don't define the player I am. You know what I mean? I know a lot of people that can dunk the ball but they're not good. It's funny to hear all the criticism. Like I said, I can't take it serious because I know how good I am. I know who I am."
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