A New Chapter For Derrick Rose As He Hopes To Bloom In NYC

For a period of time in Chicago, Derrick Rose was the toast of the town, a Chi-Town native lifting a franchise back to relevancy.  On Friday afternoon at Madison Square Garden, he officially turned the page on the Chicago Bulls chapter in his life before welcoming a new opportunity in New York City.

“I would like to tell them [Chicago Bulls] thank you,” Rose expressed at his introductory press conference on Friday afternoon.  “I mean, giving me another start.  I’m grateful to be where I’m at.” 

The 27-year old delivered a confident message while clearly describing the emotion of leaving the only organization he played for in the NBA and his native city.  The surreal visual of Rose walking into Madison Square Garden with a blue Knicks polo seemed out of place for a young man synonymous with the Windy City. 

“It still doesn’t feel real,” Rose admitted.  “Driving in and just seeing my name on the billboard [The Marquee] or seeing my picture on the billboard or the screen outside the building, it kind of blew me away a little bit. “

Rose discovered the news surrounding the blockbuster deal from his agent while he worked out in Los Angeles.  The three-time All-Star said he is not quite sure why the Bulls traded him for Jerian Grant, Jose Calderon, and Robin Lopez but the reason didn’t seem to matter.  Rose was at peace and on point in declaring his desire to achieve success in his new city.    

“You know, I could have been anywhere, I’m not saying all the other teams are bad places but to be in this market, to be in the city where the legacy, I mean the history of basketball, me coming from Chicago, and just the rivalry from Chicago to New York, type of way of playing basketball.  I’m grateful to be here.  I feel like they are going to appreciate me a little bit more,” Rose stated.

Two summers ago, Carmelo Anthony faced free agency and a bevy of options.  One destination he considered was Chicago and the potential to team-up with Rose.  At Friday’s press conference Rose described his excitement in 2013 for a potential dynamic duo presence in Chicago.  Anthony decided to re-sign with the Knicks in an effort to deliver a title to his city.  Ironically, the two are now joining forces in an unexpected partnership that seemed unlikely.

“It’s funny how things work itself out,” Rose smiled.  “I’m just happy to be here.  I’m happy to be playing alongside someone that is a dog just like how I am and wanting win and willing to do whatever it takes to win.  So, I’m grateful.  I’m appreciative and I can’t wait.”

One of the reasons Rose is eagerly anticipating this new marriage in NYC is the opportunity to run with the 20-year old phenom, Kristaps Porzingis.  Rose witnessed Porzingis’ dazzling abilities first hand in the back-to-back games against the Knicks in late March.  Porzingis was spectacular in the meeting in Chicago with 29 points on 11-of-16 shooting from the floor and 10 boards.

“Man, it was hard playing against him last year,” Rose laughed.  “He’s so good man, like knocking down shots, plays unselfishly, passes the ball, very skilled, plays hard.  That is somebody that I would die to play with and now I have two of those guys [Anthony] and whoever the front office puts around us, I know they are going to do the right thing, so it’s an exciting year, should be an exciting year next year, and we are going to need everyone.”

After dealing with unfortunate injuries over the past three seasons, Rose is on a mission to regain his MVP form.  Rose is spending time in Los Angeles to work on his craft and prepare physically for a rigorous 82-game season.

“With this time, I’m just being patient,” he confessed.  “I’m taking all this in.  I feel like something special is going to happen.  I really don’t know what but I feel like something special.  I’m putting in all of the work.  I think that when I look back at it the most time I had this much time to really focus on basketball was the year before I won MVP and I got a lot of time to really focus on myself, learn, take care of my body, and just try to better myself to try to become the best athlete I can become.”

While Rose displayed a calm demeanor, even soft spoken and short at times during the press conference, he’s clearly focused on returning to the main stage where he once resided.

“Sitting out, watching all these games being played and you aren’t even touching the playoffs.  I can’t say anything, I can’t say nothing about nobody, I have to make the playoffs next year,” Rose declared.

The past seven seasons for Rose is in the rear view mirror.  The new chapter officially begins for the former MVP and the opportunity for Rose to bloom in the orange and blue.