Derrick Rose Moved By Fans' All-Star Love

Derrick Rose is on track to go to the All-Star Game.

The Timberwolves guard ranked second among Western Conference guards on the early fan voting returns released earlier in the week. He’s averaging 18.9 points and 4.8 assists per game off the Timberwolves’ bench, and after years of injuries seems to finally have his feet back under him.

It’s been a journey for Rose, one that has often times been difficult and confusing. On Friday morning, a visibly-emotional Rose spoke to the media for the first time since fan voting was released.

“It’s touching man. Very touching. It just shows you that love trumps hate any day all day. To be in this position, something I couldn’t ask for,” he said. “I got here from being myself and expressing how I feel and being honest. If anything, the reason why I’m going right now is for the people that feel left out and misunderstood. The outcasts, the rebels, that’s the reason why I’m going now. I think people can relate to it.”

Rose said he is constantly surprised by the love he gets from fans all over the world. Rose doesn’t promote himself. He doesn’t spend time online. He doesn’t have an Instagram. Yet, there is undoubtedly something about him that people identify with. Maybe it’s his exciting brand of basketball, maybe it’s how raw he is with media and fans or maybe it’s his journey through the hardship. Whatever it is, something about Rose draws people to him.

 “Whenever I’m out I get the same love, when was injured I felt the same thing, but the narrative changed when you have injury after injury after injury,” Rose said. “At the time I was young, I was in a place where I was trying to figure out where I was as a person, as a man. I was being stubborn, selfish in my interviews, in Chicago, and at the time the media ran with it. I didn’t know what to do at that time, I was trying to figure things out. It was just a dark time, but I got through it, I grew up, I’m in a different place mentally.”

Rose’s comeback may have been supported by his fans, but it was fueled by his competitive drive. Rose pushes himself to the limit in everything he does.

“Any position that I’m in I’m going to try and do the best I can with that position,” he said. “If I was a starter I would want to win MVP, I would want a championship. If I’m on the bench I want to be the best player off the bench. I want a championship. My goals stay the same, and I have goals to push me throughout the season.”

Rose’s teammates see that approach every day, and they’re unequivocal in their support of him.

“It’s so amazing. Everyone counted him out,” said Towns. “His work ethic has shown through his play. We’re all witnesses to greatness every time D-Rose gets to lace up his shoes and play.”

“I’m just so happy he’s getting the respect and the love from the fans that he’s gotten from the first returns,” Towns continued. “He deserves every single bit of it. He’s one of the humblest and greatest superstars I’ve ever gotten a chance to play with.” 

Teague agreed on all counts, and urged fans to continue their efforts to vote Rose into the game.

“We’ve got to get him in,” he said. “He’s had a great year, he’s one of the coolest dudes I’ve met. I’m pretty sure he’s going to get in he’s a fan favorite all across the league. Hopefully he’s just going to keep going and going.”

For Rose, a return to the All-Star Game would be a huge payoff on the years of work he’s put in to try and get back to full strength. However, it would mess up his vacation plans. Nevertheless, the opportunity to share that kind of a moment with his family would be an unforgettable one.

“It would mean a lot, but at the same time I still have my vacay set up in Malibu,” he joked. “I was just joking with Jeff saying man I can’t wait for the seven days, I want to relax, chill. But not only would I appreciate it, my family, my kids would appreciate it. My son would be able to go to all the functions, my baby girl would get to experience it a little bit, it would be great.”

You can vote to send Rose to the All-Star Game here.