Five years after he became the youngest player ever named NBA MVP, and four years since he tore his ACL in the first round of the playoffs, Derrick Rose is still just 27 as he arrives in New York ready to handle the heat. The confident Rose automatically assumed that when people started talking about “Superteams” — after Golden State acquired Kevin Durant — that they were talking about Rose’s new Knicks, too. (“They’re saying us and Golden State are the Superteams…”) Not too many were, but it’s a plausible conclusion. If expectations of Rose weren’t diminished by his injury-plagued history, the Carmelo Anthony-Kristaps Porzingis-Rose “Big Three” would qualify. New York can’t wait to find out if it really works.
Rose knows a lot is expected of him. And he’s hardly shrugging his heavy shoulder at the task. Rose’s former Bulls teammate, Joakim Noah, also joined him in New York — lending immediate spark, spirit, grit and hoops IQ to the talented crew. Rose told NBA.com: “I’ve got to show why I’m there. Joakim’s got to show why he’s there. Everybody’s trying to prove themselves.” A fresh start for a former MVP could be super indeed, health intact.