Derrick Rose is the perfect example of how a player can reinvent himself after several serious injuries and still be productive in the NBA. After becoming the youngest MVP in the NBA history in 2011, it seemed the sky is the limit for Rose, but an ACL tear that happened in a playoff game against the Sixers resulted in Rose missing out on the rest of the playoffs and the entire next season. Unfortunately, that wasn't the end of his struggles with injuries after Rose also tore his meniscus in 2014, which resulted in him leaving the Chicago Bulls and almost ending his basketball career.
Luckily for his fans worldwide, those injuries didn't break Rose's spirit, who worked incredibly hard to get back in the league. Since then, he changed several teams, but for the past two seasons, we are witnessing a new, rejuvenated, and productive Derrick Rose, who is once again putting up decent numbers in an incredibly effective way.
Former NBA player Jamal Mashburn is another Derrick Rose fan who admires everything Rose has been through after his injuries because he is aware that most NBA players would break under that pressure. In an interview for the Knuckleheads podcast, Mashburn explains why he has a lot of respect for Rose for having the desire and passion for reinventing himself and changing his role in the NBA.
Derrick Rose is the MVP and then had a knee issue, so that in itself is difficult to deal with. You have to reinvent yourself, and you really have to love the game, you can't love the money. You can't love the lifestyle. He could have sat down, and nobody would say nothing. I admire his tenacity, his will, and his ability to have the self-awareness to modify his game. Longevity in the NBA isn't about how high you can jump. It's how can you manage your decline of athleticism while your skill level goes up.
Jamal Mashburn, via Knuckleheads Podcast
Mashburn speaks from his own experience because, just like Rose, he struggled with injuries early on in his career. As a player, you need to decide whether to continue your career and risk your health or retire from the game of basketball, which is something not everyone is ready to do. Mashburn pointed out something that resonated: the pure love for the game that kept players like Rose motivated to do anything in their power to get back on the court and at least play in some kind of role within an NBA team is truly inspiring.
Luckily, medicine has advanced tremendously nowadays and injuries that would end your career 20, 30 years ago are now treatable, and players have a chance of making a comeback. Mashburn had to reinvent himself just like Rose and no longer rely solely on athleticism but expand other areas of his game to stay productive and valuable for his team.
Once again, we'll be seeing Rose in a Knicks jersey under Tom Thibodeau's leadership, who knows Rose better than any coach in the NBA, and there is no question he will use him the right way. We might even see Rose as a starting point guard for the Knicks next season, which is incredible when you consider what he went through and what type of journey he had in the NBA for the past couple of years.