In an exclusive, uncut interview with SLAMonline, CSNChicago’s Aggrey Sam sat down with Bulls star Derrick Rose, and the two spoke on a number of topics—Rose’s offseason routine, the physical and emotional toll from his devastating knee injury, Chicago’s recent acquisitions, his goals and expectations for next season, and much more. One particularly interesting tidbit from their conversation was that Rose, who’s overcome a lot of adversity throughout his life, said the knee injury was the hardest thing he’s ever had to deal with, by far. In fact, when the injury occurred, Rose says it seemed like his world was ending.

“Dr. [Brian] Cole, the Bulls doctor [who also performed the subsequent surgery], came up to me and told me it was torn. I couldn’t believe it. That’s the closest thing to death, the closest to death I’ve got to right there, where it just seemed like the wind and everything was taken out [of me],” Rose said. But as he related to his legion of admirers back in July, Rose is doing just fine, as his older brother, Reggie, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau and others have repeatedly said. “I’m good, man. I definitely haven’t been out like that, but I’m doing fine, just trying to stay positive, keep everything normal. The injury could have been way worse. You’ve got some people that probably feel worse than I am, but I know I’m going to be all right. I believe in God, my spirits are up and I believe in myself, and I know I’m going to be back even stronger.”