“Family,” that’s how PG Derrick Rose describes being a part of the New York Knicks. A special connection with his coaches and upper management lead to a three-year, $43 million contract, despite Rose headed toward father-time. His impact can still be exercised in multiple ways.
“It’s family here,’’ Rose said. “ I got Wes here. I got Thibs here. I got everybody that I’ve had success with here, laying down a foundation.’’
Bringing back Derrick Rose is about a lot more than his performance on the floor. His mentorship for young players like Immanuel Quickley and now Miles Mcbride holds invaluable benefit.
Rose spoke about Quickley last season as if he was his personal trainer, detailing his mentality to improve and learn:
“It shouldn’t be too hard with him,’’ Rose said. “We’re similar. He’s getting double-teamed in his rookie year. There ain’t too many rookies getting that type of attention. For him to see that kind of early, it’s just going to make his game better. The game is going to slow down more. And he listens. That’s the greatest thing about him, he listens. With that, you always got room for improvement. He’s a dog. He’s a dog. I can’t explain it. You’ve got to be a player to understand it. We’re in a fight, I know he’s fighting.’’
Quickley backed up Rose’s claim, indicating the ‘big-brother’ mentality the veteran had after being traded to New York from Detroit:
“He just stressed to me — first of all he gave me his number — said anything I need just hit him,” Quickley said. “But he sat down with me a little bit, me and Obi actually, just told us he’s here to help us, he’s here to help us grow and things like that.”
It’s clear Rose still has gas left in the tank, contributing as a player but also a leader for an extremely young team that just added three rookies in the 2021 NBA Draft — Quentin Grimes, Miles McBride, and Rokas Jokubaitis. The front office’s commitment to him speaks volumes of his value, especially at 32 years old and well past his prime.
After spending the first half of the season with the Detroit Pistons, Derrick Rose played in 35 games with the Knicks, averaging 26.8 minutes per game.
The impact Rose had during his small sample size was tremendous, helping the team secure the 4th Seed in the Eastern Conference. He averaged nearly 15 points, 4.2 assists, and shot 48.7% for the field. He connected on a career-high 41% from deep, hitting 88% of his free throws.
Rose provided offensive efficiency but was also the glue the roster needed to bring the youth and veteran talent together in harmony. With holes all over the roster and deficiencies at multiple spots, they still managed to fight their way into the postseason, finishing the second half of the year in incredible style. Falling to the Atlanta Hawks isn’t something to be embarrassed about, as they made their way to the semi-finals before being knocked out.
Some might view his three-year contract as a bit optimistic based on his regression, but Rose is a legitimate starting point guard in the NBA, and he filled a massive gap for the Knicks upon his acquisition. Replacing the trio of Rose, Elfrid Payton, and Frank Ntilimina with Rose, Luca Vildoza, and Miles McBride represents an upgrade.
Another variable to consider is providing McBride with a mentor who can help him adapt and leave his mark during the 2021-22 season. McBride is known for his defense but was also a solid three-point shooter at the collegiate level, connecting on 41% of his shots. He averaged 15.9 points and 4.8 assists last year with West Virginia. It will take time for him to become an adequate PG at the next level, but having a veteran like Rose to look up two will make his transition that much easier.