NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Derrick Rose says he’s focused on winning and hopes to be a Knick for the long run.
“I just want to win,” Rose said at the Madison Square Garden news conference. “That’s the only thing I want to do.”
Rose’s career has been beset by injuries in recent years. The top overall pick in the 2008 draft, Rose tore the ACL in his left knee in the 2012 playoffs and then missed the entire next season. Then just 10 games into 2013-14, he tore the meniscus in his right knee, ending his season.
Rose said he believes he has turned the page on the injuries.
“I feel like I’m great right now,” he said. “Where I came from, as far as getting through my rehabs and just having the opportunity to just play basketball, I feel like that’s the only thing I was missing these last couple of years was my rhythm. I was strong. I felt like my body was strong.
“I feel like I’m close (to being the player he once was), but me sitting up here and saying that, that’s not going to do anything. Next year, I’m going to let my game speak for itself.”
Rose said he can’t afford to be concerned about whether he’ll get through 82 games unscathed.
“When I step on the floor, I’m just trying to win every game, play as hard as I can,” he said. “And that’s all I could do. But as far as putting an expectation or trying to see or try to find out how many games I’ll play a year, there’s no point in doing that. I don’t want to jinx myself.”
Rose admitted it was tough to learn he was leaving Chicago, his hometown.
“It was just an emotional time for me,” Rose said. “Chicago’s more than just like a home. It grew me into the man I am today. All my family and friends are back there.”
He, however, added he hopes he can retire in New York. He has one year remaining on his contract.
“With all the attention and all the congratulations I’ve got here, I hope I’ll be able to play the rest of my career here,” Rose said. “But like I said, this is a business. I guess we’ll have to see how this one year goes, but I’m putting my all into this.”
Rose said he still can’t believe he’s now a Knick.
“It still don’t feel real,” he said. “Driving in and just seeing my name on the billboard or seeing my picture on the billboard on the screen outside of the building kind of blew me away a little bit. It probably really won’t hit me until I step on the floor and I actually have a jersey on.”
The Knicks sent center Robin Lopez and point guards Jerian Grant and Jose Calderon to the Bulls in exchange for Rose, a 27-year-old three-time All-Star, as well as shooting guard Justin Holiday and a 2017 second-round pick.