The Derrick Rose experiment has not gone the way the Cleveland Cavaliers were hoping this season. Originally signed to be a backup for Kyrie Irving, Rose became the starter after the trade, with Isaiah Thomas still recovering from his hip injury.
But Rose is no longer a starting-caliber point guard in the league, as was evident when he played. The Cavs had a net rating of -12.9 when he was on the floor. Due to injuries, however, Rose hasn’t actually been on the floor that often, playing a total of just seven games.
After his latest injury — a sprained ankle — he was expected to be out 2-3 weeks. During that time, however, he left the team for a self-imposed exile, and wasfrom basketball all together.
In a new interview, however, Rose says that he was never close to retiring, and still loves the game. He also wanted people to know that he isn’t depressed, and is continuing to get healthy. Via The Undefeated:
“Be patient. I’m good. I’m just taking my time,” Rose said. “You don’t have to worry about me. I’m not depressed. I’m good. A lot of people think I’m depressed because of what I’m going through. It’s the total opposite. I learned from my mistakes three or four years ago when I put myself into a shell.
Anything you can share that LeBron James offered to you supportwise?
No. No. He didn’t have to say anything. It’s all about me coming in and them knowing I want to be a part of the team too. I think they know I want to play in games too. I want to be in the heat of the moment too. It’s all about taking my time and just being smart about it.
Did you come close to retiring?
No. No. That’s stupid. I don’t want to even talk about that. But I’m just happy that LeBron understood.
What keeps you from walking away?
I’m in love with the game. The love of the game. I still am a winner. I still love learning the game. Where else can you learn more than from Golden State or [Cleveland]? LeBron has been to the Finals eight times and seven straight years. I played against him a lot of times. I’ve learned so much from him and the whole team. It’s just a fun experience being around this team.
Rose added that he’s not sure when he’ll be able to return to action.
Do you have any idea about when you’ll return to action?
No. It’s really no rush. It’s really about rehabbing my ankle. I’m happy that the rehab is taking care of my problem. Every day or every week I am pressing to something different. It’s good.
With Thomas closing in on a return, Jose Calderon proving he’s still capable of running the show a few minutes each night and Dwyane Wade excelling in command of the second unit, Rose likely won’t have a big role — if any — when he’s able to play.
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