Ten years ago, Derrick Rose was named the NBA MVP. He was the youngest player in league history to win the award.
Injuries robbed him of a chance to win the award again. But if you ask the Knicks, he’s as valuable as anyone on the roster.
Rose had 25 points on 15 shots in New York’s win over Memphis. He scored or assisted on 12 of the Knicks’ final 18 points, helping the road team blow the game open late.
New York has won 11 of 12. With Monday’s win, the Knicks clinched their first winning season since 2012-13, the last time they made the playoffs.
And they wouldn’t be here without Rose, who has shot 39 percent from beyond the arc as a Knick and has served as a mentor on and off the court to New York’s young players.
“Whether he was the MVP of the league at 22 or 10 years later he’s the same guy. He’s always been a team-first guy and winning’s always at the forefront, he’s always been a great teammate,” Tom Thibodeau, Rose’s coach for that MVP season, said Monday. “He’s happy when other people have success. He’s most happy when the team wins. And whether he scores two points or he scores 20 points, he’s the same guy.”
Rose knew that Monday was the 10-year anniversary of his MVP award when a family member mentioned it earlier in the day.
“It’s crazy. The story is crazy,” he said. “But I’m just happy to still be here playing decent basketball. I’m very appreciative.
”As are Thibodeau and the Knicks. Entering Monday’s game, Rose’s net rating per 100 possessions was +13.2. That means the Knicks had outscored opponents by an average of 13 points per 100 possessions that Rose plays.
Not bad for a player acquired from Detroit for a second-round pick and Dennis Smith Jr.
As you’d imagine, Rose is having fun in New York, winning with Thibodeau again.
“We’re doing something quite unique here, playing with a sense of urgency,” he said. “After the first half, we’re able to adjust. We’re reading the game. The coaching staff is doing a great job talking to us after games.
“The bench players are following behind the starters. They are setting the tone and the bench players talk along the sideline and see what the game needs before we get in the game. We already know how we’re going to play.”
World Wide Support
William Wesley has been to every Knick game – home and road. On Sunday, MSG Network cameras showed Wesley firing up Julius Randle after he went off in the third quarter against Houston. On Monday, cameras showed Wesley celebrating the win over Memphis on the court with Thibodeau.
Randle said on Sunday that he appreciates Wesley being a vocal supporter on game nights.
“That’s Unc man, that’s Unc,” Randle said with a smile on Sunday. “’We here, we here’; he’s screaming it every day. He’s one of the biggest supporters out there, cheering for us every day.
“It’s amazing to have somebody like that in the front office be that in tune to the game and what we’re doing. It makes it a lot more fun. And it’s a family atmosphere. I enjoy it every day, personally.”
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