The New York Knicks have two new point guards and a million new hopes. Derrick Rose, the oft-injured former NBA MVP, remains the presumed starter. The electric Brandon Jennings is the backup. The setup has all the makings of a classic quarterback controversy. A healthy Rose — and he is said to be 100% physically — is an outsize talent who will remain unchallenged as a starter. Putting it in perspective: Brandon Jennings has All-Star caliber talent, but he will never be a candidate for NBA MVP. In their primes at 100%, Rose wins ever time.
But the thing is, Rose is highly unlikely to be a candidate for NBA MVP again either — even his biggest fans don’t expect a return to 2011 form. Jennings has always been a starter — and more than that he has always been a star, capable of scoring bursts and leading a team — as he showed clearly, if briefly, in Detroit. Jennings is also just 27, not exactly the age when he’s ready to become a full-time Andre Miller-style reserve, having fulfilled his potential. No, Jennings’ best days are presumably ahead of him. Rose was just cleared of charges in a criminal case against him and his mind is free to focus on his next battles. One of them will be fought quietly in his own locker room.