Thursday, January 27 2022

Before being serenaded with MVP chants inside the United Center while playing for the visiting New York Knicks on a night where the Chicago Bulls were honoring Joakim Noah, veteran guard Derrick Rose was asked if it ever made him think that one day he’ll receive the same honor from a franchise he won an MVP award with. Though the Bulls will no doubt celebrate Rose when his playing days are over, he’s not even thinking about when that eventual day could come.

“I try to remove myself from that,” Rose said. “Hopefully — I’m tryna Tom Brady this thing, play as long as possible, make sure I really take care of my body, and if I’m playing, play with joy.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has been defying the odds in the NFL, as he’s still playing at an elite level despite being 44 years old. Just last year he captured his seventh Super Bowl ring, the most of any player in NFL history — though he’s held that title since winning his sixth back in 2018. Although it’s nearly impossible for Rose to emulate Brady in terms of winning, it’s not a ridiculous notion to think he could keep playing into his 40s.

Rose may not be the hyper-athletic guard who had one of the quickest first steps in the NBA anymore, but after years of bouncing around teams in the league, he’s still managed to be an impactful player. He’s not a regular starter anymore, but his scoring ability has made him an essential bench player over the years.

“I don’t have to score 30 points a night anymore to affect the game, Rose said. “I can come out, do what I gotta do. I’ve got a great supporting cast with [Julius Randle] and everybody in the starting five, even the guys that’s on the bench, we have a great rhythm. I just gotta play my game, and whatever the game presents I just gotta be ready for it.”

Rose, who just turned 33 in early October, has the skill set to play a handful of more years, barring any setbacks. Injuries are what derailed Rose’s career when he was in Chicago, as he missed the 2012-2013 season with an ACL tear, then suffered a torn right meniscus 10 games into the 2013-2014 season. However, since then Rose hasn’t dealt with any significant injuries that would further shorten his playing career. He’s not putting up MVP numbers anymore, but he’s been amongst the most productive bench player in the league over the past few seasons. 

So far this season with New York, he’s putting up 13.8 points, 3.4 assists and 3.2 rebounds while shooting an absurd 54.5 percent from deep on four attempts per game. That last stat will certainly regress as the year carries on, but after not being a serious threat from deep early in his career, Rose has clearly worked on his 3-point shooting to make an impact in that way as well. There’s still plenty of years before he can get into Brady territory in terms of the longevity of his career, but there’s no reason to think he can’t do it based on the way he’s played in the last few years. 



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