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“Coming in, he was my comparison” - Ja Morant on how Derrick Rose paved the way for athletic point guards

The similarities between Ja and prime Rose's games are uncanny, but here's to hoping the Grizzlies star can have a healthy career.
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant and New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose

Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant is one of the most exciting hoopers in the NBA and has the potential to be the face of the league if he continues to improve. But before he took the skies and the league by storm, another uber-athletic point guard had already made waves - Derrick Rose. Morant even acknowledged recently that the former MVP paved the way for players like him.

"He really made it to where people believe in guys like me," Morant said after matching up against Rose and the New York Knicks on Sunday. "Coming in, athletic guards, I felt like he was pretty much the one who kind of made it more famous. With how acrobatic his finish is, his touch around the rim, and how explosive he was. Coming in, he was my comparison. It's crazy to be out there on the floor sharing a court with him."

Can Ja also win MVP?

As NBA fans remember, Rose was the youngest player ever to win MVP.

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In the 2010-11 campaign, he averaged 25.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 7.7 assists per contest. The former Chicago Bulls star also became just the third player since the 1972-73 season to amass 2,000 points and 600 assists in a single campaign. The other two ahead of him? Michael Jordan and LeBron James.

At this point, Morant is already nine months older than Rose was when he took home the Maurice Podoloff Trophy. Obviously, the fourth-year pro won't be able to break the youngest MVP record. Still, he can have a better overall career - if he can avoid the injury bug that bit Rose several times in his unfortunate career.

Can Ja stay healthy?

Rose is one of the greatest what-ifs in NBA history because of the myriad of injuries he has had to endure for the past 11 years.

One of the possible reasons the three-time All-Star became injury-prone was his explosiveness on the court. He could outleap taller opponents and had a devil-may-care attitude when attacking the rim. If that sounds familiar, that's because Morant has become known for the same things.

Hopefully, by watching Rose's career, the Grizzlies All-Star can learn how to dodge injuries while playing the way he wants.

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