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.”
Rose, alongside guard Justin Holiday, was acquired by the Knicks in a summertime deal that sent Robin Lopez, Jose Calderon and Jerian Grant to the Chicago Bulls.
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.”
Rose was the centerpiece of a Knicks roster overhaul that included deals for his ex-Bulls teammate Joakim Noah, shooting guard Courtney Lee and reserve guard Brandon Jennings.
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.”