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Derrick Rose reveals message he had for Ja Morant

Derrick Rose wearing a jersey

Feb 23, 2020; Portland, Oregon, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Derrick Rose (25) looks on as a teammate shoots free throws during the second half against the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center. The Blazers won 107-104. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Derrick Rose is leaning into his sensei era.

The veteran guard Rose, who signed with the Memphis Grizzlies during the offseason, spoke with reporters at Media Day on Tuesday. During the media session, Rose revealed the message that he had for new teammate Ja Morant upon his arrival in Memphis.

“I just told him, ‘I’m not here to babysit. I’m not here to follow you around. I’m not here to cheerlead,'” said Rose. “‘I’m here to push you’ … It’s my job to push him and let him know, in times, whenever he’s being reckless, to calm down.”

Rose, a former league MVP, is about to turn 35 years old and is in the elder statesman stage of his NBA career. But the 24-year-old Grizzlies star Morant is suspended for the first 25 games of the NBA season due to his second gun-brandishing incident. That should create an opportunity for Rose to play a big role off the bench for Memphis early on in the year (assuming Marcus Smart slots into Morant’s place in the starting lineup).

Indeed, Rose is right that his job in Memphis is to prod Morant to be at his best and to perform to expectations on the court. When it comes to Morant’s actions off the court, that is his own responsibility to manage (though there have been some recent indications that Morant still isn’t doing a very good job of that).

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