Derrick Rose remains focused on the right things.
His renaissanceand return to relevance have connected with enough fans to push him to fourth in voting for Eastern Conference All-Star guards. But with the Pistons mired in a stretch of six losses in eight games, Rose claimed not to know that.
“I just want to win,” Rose said.
Rose wouldn’t confirm that he’ll participate in the Skills Competition at All-Star weekend in Chicago, which multipleoutlets, including NBC Sports Chicago, has reported. There’s a month of basketball to play before then.
Rose spoke about his season, where he’s at mentally and physically, and more in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago.
Q: You’re averaging 17.8 points and 5.8 assists in just over 25 minutes per game. Do you feel you’re playing efficiently?
Rose: That’s 12 years [experience]. I played a certain way for the first five, six years. But I was improving every year. The game has changed now. You have to be able to knock down your open shots. The last couple years, I’ve made the adjustment. In New York, I was just being stubborn by not shooting. I’m trying to make all the right reads now.
Q: Do you feel you’re a smarter player now than earlier in your career when so much of your game was raw athleticism?
Rose: I hope so. You have to be. There’s no way I would’ve got to Year 12 if I didn’t improve or my IQ didn’t go up. There’s no way I’d still be playing now or teams would believe in me.
Q: Anyone who has been around you talks about how much it seems you’re in a good place, on and off the court. Are you?
Rose: I’m just comfortable. That’s all it is. When I first came into the league, I wasn’t used to all the media. I thought you just came in and played. Everybody thought I was just this drab type of character. I was like, ‘No, if you were in my shoes, you would be shy to the camera too and you wouldn’t know what to say either.’
My talent trumped everything. I was a boy then. I’ve learned who I am as a man and what I wanted out of my career and this life that I have now. I’m just more balanced. I have a family. And I know what I want out of life.
Q: Do you feel you’re deserving of 6th Man of the Year award?
Rose: If they give it to me, it’s cool. But my job is to show I can still hoop. I want to win a championship one day. The accolades I get are cool. But individualawards aren’t my goal. Winning is.
Q: But winning 6th Man of the Year after winning most valuable player would say something about your perseverance, your career, wouldn’t it?
Rose: Like I said, it’s about making that adjustment. It would show that I adapted to this style of play and the league now.
A person I always looked up tois Kobe [Bryant]. I want to be mentioned with him. I’m trying to play as many years as possible for one.
For him to play and adapt to every generation and style of play, it shows his greatness. When people think about me, I want them to think about my career and see that I could play different ways.
Q: All-Star weekend is coming to Chicago. What would mean for you to be in the real game?
Rose: It would be cool. But right now, we’re losing. That’s the only thing that’s been on my mind right now, trying to fix things here with the team. There has been a lot of long nights just trying to think and trying to put together a plan. I can only do so much.
Just trying to control what I can control and be a leader for this team. Whatever this team needs, just try to be there. Being back in Chicago, I know people in Chicago are going to love it. It’s something we’ve been missing for a long time. The excitement, the buzz around it has been great. When is the last time they had it, with Mike [Jordan]?
Q: Do you remember Jordan winning the dunk contest from the foul line?
Rose: Yeah, I was just born then.
Q: When you see yourself fourth in the voting after all you’ve been through, what does that mean to you?
Rose: I didn’t see it. But I keep hearing about it. Like I said, it’s kind of hard really thinking about it when we’re losing games, bro. But all the people that’s out there voting, I appreciate all the support — not only me but my family. We all appreciate it. It shows how loyal my fans are and people are praising me for my play.