Pro Athlete Spotlight: Derrick Rose

NBA Basketball is back this week and for the first time since The Golden State Warriors won their first championship in 2015, there is a chance for a team not named the Warriors or the Cavaliers to win it all.  After an extremely eventful offseason, one that moved players headlined by LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Demar DeRozan, Demarcus Cousins and Carmelo Anthony to new homes, the new look NBA is one that offers much more opportunity and attention league-wide.  Teams like the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, and The Philadelphia 76ers are primed and ready to make a realistic push to the top. One team left from the list who find themselves in the news for all the wrong reasons is the Minnesota Timberwolves.  

The Minnesota Timberwolves are in a world of turmoil all centered around their superstar guard, Jimmy Butler.  While the entire league waits to see where Butler will be playing this year, another former superstar has been quietly focused on revitalizing a career which was destined for greatness.

Derrick Rose, who just turned 30 years old, is entering the 11th season of his career and is finally in a great position to show the league what the former MVP can still do.  Rose is slated to be in a battle for the starting point guard position on the Timberwolves. This comes after Rose only played the latter half of last year’s season with the team.  Rose started last season on the Cleveland Cavaliers but was traded after another injury halted what was looking like could be a comeback year for Rose. Rose was traded to the Utah Jazz but was immediately cut from the team.  Suddenly, the three-time all-star and the youngest MVP in league history was without a team and had little interest from teams around the whole league which left Rose contemplating his future in the league. Rose decided to persevere however and with the playoffs close approaching, Rose’s former coach and current Timberwolves coach, Tom Thibodeau, decided to sign Rose to a deal through the rest of the season.  Rose stepped up to the plate and immediately delivered for the team coming off the bench. Rose put the league on notice in the playoffs when he was one of the most consistent players on the Timberwolves throughout their series with the Houston Rockets. Rose demonstrated his great on court IQ and playmaking ability multiple times throughout the playoffs and had a great knack for opening up scoring opportunities for his teammates.  This was enough to earn Rose a new 1-year deal with the T-Wolves which is worth $2.1 million.

Rose has now made it through his first entirely healthy offseason and training camp in two years and so far throughout the preseason and appears to be truly enjoying his time back in the game.  Rose starts this year a completely different man than the one who raised the MVP trophy and carried Chicago on his back. This Rose is a full-grown man who is matured, patient, and simply playing the game that he loves.  While Rose may not be the spectacle he once was, he still possesses that eye-opening speed and quickness, a more developed jumper as well as a more refined ability to set up teammates due to a higher basketball IQ. With Jimmy Butler or without him, I expect Derrick Rose, to finally put together that bounce back season we’ve been waiting on and put the respect on his name that he fully deserves.