Did Derrick Rose leave New York with some hard feelings? The way he answered a certain question may lead people to think so.
The 2011 MVP played the past two seasons under Tom Thibodeau for the Knicks, but spent most of last season on the bench.
In his 15th season, he signed with the Grizzlies in the hopes of getting more playing time.
The 35-year-old addressed the media for the first time in a Memphis jersey.
He was asked about the difference between a Thibodeau-led practice and one run his new coach Taylor Jenkins.
“Yeah [it’s different],” Rose told reporters on media day. “These last two years, I had [Tom Thibodeau].
“So, this one compared to Thibs is — don’t get me wrong, we work — but Thibs is more of a like, how can I say it? It’s run different. I’m just gonna say that. It’s just run different. Here, it is smoother. It’s more fluent, and guys are really getting their work in. That’s not to say people in New York weren’t [doing that], but I love that the group that they got here. They don’t have to do much to tweak things because they’ve been together for a while.”
Rose’s hesitation to answer the question, plus the way he eventually answered it, will be sure to draw questions about the state of his relationship with Thibodeau.
But to be fair, Rose does have a point. NY’s roster turnover has been massive.
Out of 12 players from the Knicks 2020-21 playoff campaign, only three players – RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, Julius Randle – remain.
From his answer, it seems as though Rose is feeling positive about his early experiences with the Grizzlies franchise.
There has been a lot of chatter about how the veteran may become a bit of a ‘babysitter’ for the troubled Ja Morant, but he has made his intentions with the young star clear.
“I’m not here to babysit, I’m not here to follow you around, I’m not here to cheerlead,” Rose said. “I’m here to push you. In the league, there are very few opportunities where players get a chance to play with somebody that has a similar style of play. I’m very fortunate to be in a situation where a lot of people look at his game and they kind of compare our games together. But he’s on a whole other level.”
READ MORE: Marcus Smart Addresses Transition to Memphis