NEW YORK –- Every time he has a big game, or a big moment, it’s only natural to wonder if Derrick Rose, somehow, is on the way back to being the player he was before all the injuries. The player who was named NBA MVP at age 22. The player who led the Chicago Bulls to the Eastern Conference finals in 2011. The player who was Russell Westbrook before Russell Westbrook.
But Rose doesn’t wonder these things. The New York Knicks‘ point guard is content with where is, and with who he is. And he isn’t chasing the ghost of ‘Vintage Derrick Rose.’
“That vintage is gone, man,” Rose said late Tuesday night. “I told you the question should be: Can I hoop? It shouldn’t be like, ‘He’s playing like his old self. Like, if I can hoop, I can hoop. No matter if I did that when I was younger or now, I can play the game of basketball.”
No one’s questioning whether Rose can still play, certainly not after what he showed on Tuesday night. Rose had 18 points in the Knicks’ 107-103 win over the Portland Trail Blazers, but it was when he scored and how he scored that was noteworthy.
First, he drove past Damian Lillard in the second quarter and converted an other-worldly reverse layup.
Derrick Rose up-and-under https://t.co/DCcXOQwcf9
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) November 23, 2016
Then, in the fourth quarter with the Knicks up two, Rose did this:
— NBA (@NBA) November 23, 2016