For Derrick Rose, this NBA season has been all about having a positive message to share with his kids.
“I’m trying to be the example of not giving up,” Rose told Stadium NBA Insider Shams Charania during an exclusive interview at the Mayo Clinic Square, the training facility of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
After playing just 25 games in 2017-18, Rose averaged 18.0 points, 4.3 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game in 51 contests during the 2018-19 campaign. Factor in his shooting percentages and he’s one of 15 players to put up at least 17-4-2 on the season.
“It all comes with self belief and having others in your corner that really believe in you,” said Rose. “I feel like I have both those elements on my side.”
In many ways, this was a career season for Rose.
He shot better from both the floor and from 3-point range as compared to any other season and finished with 51 games played despite being shut down late in the year with an elbow injury.
Due to his past struggles with injuries, Rose is doing everything in his power to stay healthy now.
“I do a lot of activation, activating my body, muscle activation,” revealed Rose. “It’s like 16 hours of making sure my body is prepared to play in the game.”
His new fitness routine paid off during Year One with the T-Wolves, as evidenced by his 50-point performance against the Utah Jazz in October. It marked both a career-high in points and Rose’s moment of resurgence.
“I was going to my bread and butter, which was the midrange,” Rose remembered. The point guard finished 19-for-31 from the floor in the game.
Another reason why this was a momentous year for Rose is that his documentary, “Pooh: The Derrick Rose Story” is set to premiere exclusively on Stadium on April 11 at 7 p.m. ET.
“It was a three- or four-year process,” Rose said of the filming schedule. “It was solely for my fans. I think that it was the perfect timing at the time for me to show them that glimpse.”
However, he still has some reservations regarding the film.
“It’s hard to say, because right now I’m nervous about it,” Rose told Charania when asked about his feelings for the documentary. “I’m very private, very secretive. I don’t know if I’m ready for it.”
Rose hopes all viewers appreciate the behind-the-scenes access they’ll receive from Stadium’s production.
“To open up to the public and people watching you that don’t care who you are or didn’t follow your journey, it’s hard,” Rose said. “I just want them to see the growth.”
His journey from Englewood to the NBA has allowed Rose to develop a wider perspective on what basketball has done for his life on a deeper level.
“I feel fortunate because everything that I went through, I was able to hold on to my sanity the entire time,” added Rose. “Financially, I’m good. I’m stable — my health is good. I’m very fortunate.”
Rose will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason and there is expected to be a strong market for his services, but the point guard is unsure about his next move.
“Even in New York, I averaged 17 there and during the summer, I didn’t get any calls until Cleveland called.”
Rose would like to stay in Minnesota, but knows the future is uncertain.
“You never know what the team wants or the direction the team is going in the offseason,” Rose discussed with Charania.
“Whatever the team wants to do, I’m cool with it. I will want to be here.”
Could a reunion in Chicago, the city Rose said that he “will always carry” with him, be a potential option?
“July 1, we’ll see everything for what it is,” remarked Rose. “If they give me a call, my ears are open.”
One thing is for sure; Rose’s recent renaissance proved that he can still impact the game, even if he’s now contributing in more of a complementary role — an important factor for the 30-year-old.
“The day that I am not able to affect the game, that’s when I know it’s time to hang it up,” said Rose.
“I don’t have a retirement date.”