Derrick Rose defends taking time off with Cavs, Knicks
Derrick Rose has plenty to prove in his 11th NBA season, and he has played a major role with the Minnesota Timberwolves through the first seven games. While he is not surprised by the criticism he has faced over the hiatuses he took both in New York and Cleveland, the former No. 1 overall pick does not feel all of it is warranted.
In a lengthy interview with Shams Charania of The Athletic, Rose explained why he briefly stepped away from basketball with both the Knicks and the Cavaliers. He said he took time off in Cleveland because of a lingering issue in his left ankle that he was told he could play through, but his body didn’t feel right.
“I wasn’t able to run for a couple of weeks, and that’s why I took the break, because I didn’t know what was wrong,” Rose said. “People were saying, ‘You got a bone spur, everybody got bone spurs.’ I ain’t everybody. I just found this out, fam. And my body is not like y’all. I got to do three or four times the recovery that y’all do just because of my speed and how explosive I am.”
Rose said he learned early on his career that his body isn’t the same as everyone else’s, so he knew he needed a break. With the Cavs, however, he admitted he stepped away because he was unhappy with his role on the team.
“I played on the same team where I’ve seen guys leave the team and go out of state and work out for two weeks and wasn’t around us. What’s the difference?” Rose said. “I’ve seen Joakim (Noah) go to Hawaii and come back with a tan while we were playing and had those good teams. So don’t act like I’m the outcast because I did that. It ain’t like I was playing.”
In the past, Rose expressed anger over reports claiming he was contemplating retirement, but you have to expect that when you go completely AWOL in the middle of a season. Now, the former NBA MVP is back playing under Tom Thibodeau and is averaging 14.3 points while playing 28.4 minutes per game. If he can somehow stay healthy, a big season would not be a shock.