New York Knicks: Jeff Hornacek says Derrick Rose's ankle injury isn't 'major'
Dec 20, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek and guard Derrick Rose (25) look on during the second quarter against the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks point guard Derrick Rose opens up about his impending free agency, telling us that winning is his top priority.

For the first time in his career, Derrick Rose will enter the offseason as a free agent. With that being said, there have been some concerns that Rose is only playing basketball for the money.

“Not even thinking money,’’ Rose told Marc Berman of the New York Daily News on Wednesday. “I see it here and there but it doesn’t drive me anymore.”

Previous reports were claiming, “Derrick Rose is seeking a max contract in free agency,” according to ESPN.

The former MVP said he have enough money right now to quit and be just fine, but he’s focusing on winning. Rose didn’t have a winning season this year and his mindset heading into the offseason is to be able to play for a contender or a team that’s able to win.

“I’ve got more than enough money saved. If I stopped playing basketball now, I’ll be alright. I want to win. I want to be happy and feel at peace with myself wherever I’m at. But being at the negotiating table, you never know. I’m not going to negotiate with people where money is the No. 1 thing I’m asking for. I want to win.’’

Derrick Rose has been showing flashes of his MVP form. As far as attacking the rim and finishing is concerned, D-Rose can still get it done. On Sunday, Rose showed fans this as he drove past Kawhi Leonard while facing the Spurs.

In February, D-Rose thoroughly denied the rumors about him playing basketball for the money. Furthermore, as opposed to earlier reports, he might not demand a max contract in free agency.

“I have always been driven by playing basketball and wanting to be the best. Like money, of course, you got to know because how I grew up,” Rose told the news outlet.

He also told reporters that people might think certain things about him because of where he grew up. Derrick Rose is from Englewood, a neighborhood that is responsible for the highest crime rate in Chicago.

“I grew up around the streets. Hustling. You see numbers, you can’t overlook them.”

Rose continued to talk about the offseason. He said he would love to play for the Knicks again, but he has to discuss things over what’s best for him with his agents and brothers. Rose might like New York but if his brothers and agents think that he didn’t play up to his full potential, they might tell him to play for a team that fit his style.

“Just being in this environment, being in New York, being at the Garden every other night, it’s a blessing. But, again, I have to really talk it over with my agent and my brothers.’’

Of course, the 2010-11 MVP has been dealing with injuries for the most of his career, but for the first time since he injured his ACL in 2010, he hasn’t suffered a significant injury and has remained relatively healthy all season.

Earlier in the year, there were reports that the Knicks might extend Rose’s contract, so he wouldn’t hit free agency. Phil Jackson and Steve Mills said they would have to wait out and see how he plays during the season.

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Rose is averaging 17.7 PPG, 3.8 REB and four assists. He is also shooting his highest field goal percentage since the 2009 season (46.7 percent) and shooting a career-high 87 percent from the foul line.

Will he be with the Knicks next year? Only time will tell. But we can throw away the idea that this dude is in it for the money. He’s in it because he genuinely loves basketball.

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19 Years Old, from Chicago, IL. NBA writer for EliteSportsNY and RealBallInsider. MLB writer for ROBaseball. Sports Writer for The Communicator Newspaper. Co-Host on Sports Show “SportsSanity” blogtalkradio.com/sportssanity