After the playing in the Windy City for seven NBA seasons, New York Knicks point guard Derrick Rose is off to a good start in the Big Apple.
When New York Knicks team president Phil Jackson executed a trade that helped him acquire Derrick Rose during the offseason, it could have been viewed as a questionable move on multiple fronts.
Sure, D. Rose exploded on the NBA scene in a big way. He won the Rookie of the Year award in 2009 and became just the second player to score 36 points in a playoff debut. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar accomplished the feat with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1970.
Just two years later, Rose was named the league’s Most Valuable Player following a season in which he averaged 25.0 points and 7.7 assists per contest.
But every story has two sides and this one is no exception. Following that memorable season, Rose has had a difficult time staying healthy largely because of multiple knee injuries — the first of which was a torn ACL that forced him to sit out the entire 2012-13 campaign.
And because of those injuries, Rose missed 201 of a possible 328 games from 2012-13 through 2015-16. That means he was on the court just 39 percent of the time during that four-year stretch.
Taking those factors into consideration, some may have wondered if Jackson made the right move in trading for a player whose best years seem to be behind him, to put it nicely.
Despite the injury bug that has plagued Rose over the past few seasons, though, he is off to a solid start in his first season as a member of the Knicks.
For instance, prior to leaving in the third quarter of the Knicks’ 114-103 victory over the Miami Heat on Tuesday night with back spasms, Rose had played in all 20 games, which marks the first time that he started in the first 20 games of a season since 2009-10.
Along with that, his 340 points scored during that stretch represents his highest scoring output to start a season since his 2010-11 MVP campaign.
Furthermore, with the exception of a rather forgettable 25.8 percent conversion rate from beyond the arc, Rose has put up slightly better numbers across the board compared to his final season with the Chicago Bulls a year ago.
It is also worth mentioning that the Knicks are off to a 12-9 start, which is the fifth-best record in the Eastern Conference.
Even more important, the Knicks have reeled off nine wins in their last 12 outings and are three games above the .500 mark for the first time since the end of the 2012-13 season.
Even the most avid Knicks fan could not have predicted this kind of start.
Having said that, Rose is making Jackson look like a genius so far and he recently discussed how much he likes his new surroundings.
From The New York Daily News:
“Being in the city, experiencing the way I’ve been experiencing it, and having the freedom that I have. I think it’s only a few places I can live in the States where I can have that much freedom and being here. I think they’re used to the celebrity.
“And with me — how can I put it? — me like learning who I am as a man, and experiencing everything I experienced, I really don’t like fame like that. I can walk around and be a regular person here.”
Obviously, Rose’s recent setback could be a concern for the Knicks as the season progresses.
But as long as he is able to stay healthy and continue to be productive, there is nothing preventing the two sides from working on a deal that would keep Rose in the Big Apple for the remainder of his career.