New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose said in an interview with Yahoo! Sports the No. 25 will show a more mature player.
Being traded isn’t easy, especially when traded from your hometown team. Derrick Rose knows that first-hand.
The Chicago Bulls dealt their hometown hero to the New York Knicks in July, in exchange for Robin Lopez, Jerian Grant and Jose Calderon. Rose couldn’t believe it.
“I was kind of hurt at first, of course, coming from my hometown and moving, period,” he said in an interview with Yahoo! Sports. “Being away from my kids and away my family, that’s going to get to you, no matter who you are. You’re going to be emotional about it.”
As part of his move to a new city, Rose switched his jersey from No. 1 to No. 25. The former league Most Valuable player said the change signals a transition in his playing style.
“The past is the past, but that No. 1, I think, will always be stuck with me,” Rose said. “It’s always going to remind people and give them memories of how I played when I was younger. I was playing reckless, and I was just ballin’. I had raw talent.
“Now, with the No. 25, I think you’ll see a more mature player,” he continued. “You’ll see the player that you saw toward the end of last year. More under control type of game, and I got a lot more options now this year. That No. 1 will always be engraved in me, and it’s not going anywhere. Twenty-five is just a new step, and a new step in the right direction.”
Once one of the NBA’s most dynamic point guards, Rose has missed 162 regular season games since his 2011 MVP speech. Last year, he appeared in 66 games, averaging 16.4 points and 4.7 assists. If you ask the 27-year-old guard, he’s got a lot of basketball left in the tank.
“I feel like I’m not done,” Rose said. “It’s a new start. I feel rejuvenated, and when you put all that together, when I step on the floor, I really don’t know what to expect. What I’m doing right now is just preparing myself for something big. I think we have a chance to win every game, and in the league, that’s rare.”
Rose was part of a Knicks roster overhaul that included deals for ex-Bulls center Joakim Noah, starting shooting guard Courtney Lee and reserve point guard Brandon Jennings. New York also re-signed forward Lance Thomas and picked up Spanish big man Willy Hernangomez, forward Maurice Ndour and rookie Marshall Plumlee to guaranteed contracts.
Rose has already worked out with a few of his new teammates, including Kristaps Porzingis, Sasha Vujacic, Lee and Jennings. He has one-year remaining on his contract.
But for Rose, the feel is right with this team. His game, and his health, will play an integral part in New York’s success this season.
“I just love the group,” Rose said. “I think everybody is on the same page. I love the culture that Phil is creating. Just the organization and franchise, I love everybody that’s working on it, and they seem like they’re very excited for everything. That just rubs off on people.”