WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK — Derrick Rose knows he can’t be Kobe Bryant. The newly acquired Knicks guard has a game that falls short of the soon-to-be first ballot Hall of Famer.
But at the New York Knicks Media Day in White Plains, N.Y., Rose used Bryant as an example of how he’d like to re-model his game following several devastating leg injuries over the past few seasons.
“I think I play a raw way of basketball, so my game has always been mid-range, one dribble, two dribbles. I feel like I have a great backboard shot, like if I get to a certain area, I’m able to be more efficient,” Rose said. “With me saying that, being efficient, every dribble has to have a meaning. I always say Kobe. Every one of his dribbles leads him up to a great shot or is going to put him in position to take a great shot.
“You rarely see too many people block his shots or even contest his shots, and if they are, he found a way to get them up or just to make the shot. And that’s what I’m working towards. Of course I’m not Kobe… it’s rare that you see him in a bad position. That’s the level I’m trying to get to.”
The 2011 NBA Most Valuable Player endured three tragic leg injuries since his MVP season, including a twice-torn medial meniscus in his right knee that required surgery.
Rose believes his game has changed as he has grown over the years.
“I feel like I’ve played a more controlled game,” the 27-year-old guard said. “In the past, I was kind of reckless. These last couple years, I felt like I pick and choose when I wanted to attack and facilitate the game.”
New York’s starting floor general says the talent around him isn’t like what he had in the past.
“What makes this year a little bit different is I have a lot more options,” Rose said. “I have shooters and I can play through someone almost the entire game. Whether that someone is Melo or it could be [Kristaps Porzingis]. KP can [score the ball], Courtney [Lee] can go off, too.
“But just having so many options and I’m able to play the way how I normally I would play, and that’s just be a point guard first and just to feel the game and to attack.”
Rose has played pick-up games with several Knicks players this summer. One thing he learned is being aggressive can be a good thing for both he and his teammates.
“This whole time we’ve been playing pick-up, it’s like they want me to attack,” Rose said. “And me attacking opens up everyone on the floor.”
A criminal investigation
In a note sent to Rose’s attorney, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed a “current and open criminal investigation pending.”
In August, a woman filed a civil sexual assault case against Rose, implicating he and two friends gang raped her. He is prepared to miss time to handle his off-court matters.
“I’m not worried about it, but if I do have to miss time it’s a part of it,” Rose said. “Of course, I don’t want to be in this position, but it is what it is. I’m going to let my lawyers handle that, let my team handle it.”