At a press event in Chicago last weekend, Derrick Rose sat in a dark room, smiling easily and talking about the release of his new Adidas D Rose 4 basketball sneakers. A soft spotlight dropped in on him. It was fitting.
In some ways, there’s always a spotlight shining on Rose, the Chicago Bulls homegrown superstar who painstakingly sat out all of last season with a knee injury while his team clawed into the second round of the NBA playoffs.
When it was our turn to speak with Rose, we asked him what the secret was to making a successful comeback. More than anything, he said it was about drowning the noise from outside.
“It really wasn’t turned upside down,” Rose said about his life. “You just have people talking about you. For me, I couldn't care less. They’re not my friends. I would be more hurt if my friends talked about me. But for people I don’t know to judge me on me taking care of myself, I couldn’t care less.”
Rose’s injury, a torn ACL suffered in Game 1 of a 2012 playoff series against Philadelphia, forced the NBA’s youngest league MVP to work harder than ever before, locking up the other NBA stars like Kevin Love, Kevin Durant, and Russell Westbrook. He said he also took better care of his diet and overall fitness.
“I’ve got abs now,” he said with a laugh. “I feel like every part of my body is stronger. I’m stretching now in the morning. I’m trying to stretch at night as much as possible. So I’m really trying to just wait until the day that I get on that court and see the result.
So, what does the future hold for Rose? "If I get that good result, I know I’m going to go crazy," he said. "I’m just going to become a maniac because that’s just how I am. I’m just waiting until that day."