Derrick Rose: ‘I can’t coach…There’s no way possible’
But his recent injury has allowed him a new perspective on the game.
by Tracy Weissenberg / @basketballista
While a groin injury has sidelined Bulls guard Derrick Rose for the past eight games, the team has put together a 6-2 record during that stretch. With the additional wear and tear of the condensed season, the Bulls’ depth has enabled the team to stay atop the NBA standings. “I think me being out is giving my teammates confidence to find ways to win games at the end of games,” says Rose.
Asked if he notices things about his team as a spectator that he hadn’t noticed while playing, Rose tells SLAMonline, “I wouldn’t say the team, but just the basketball game itself, how when you’re out there you think you’re giving it your all and you’re really not. Like the effort, you see certain things that when you’re playing, it don’t make sense to you, but when you’re out you definitely see it.”
Asked for an example, he says, “Just coming out with low energy. When you’re playing, you never think that you’ll come out and play with a lot of low energy and when you’re out, you see the things that coaches be talking about.”
On whether he has gained a coach’s perspective from his recent string of DNPs, Rose says, “Definitely, just seeing the play calls, when certain people sub into the game, defensive matchups, offensive matchups, who Thibs wants on the court and who we’re trying to attack.”
I asked Rose if he ever envisioned himself coaching one day. “Not at all,” he says, “I can’t coach. No. There’s no way possible. I’d be too hard on my players.”
On whether he thinks it’s often harder for elite players to coach because they expect the game to come the same way to other players, Rose says, “For sure, for sure. It’s no way, it’s no way possible.”
Getting back to the present, I asked Rose about the main focus of the team coming into this season in order to get further than last year’s loss in the Eastern Conference Finals. “I think we had an OK year, but our goal is to win a Championship and I think just that experience will definitely help us with this year being in certain situations, how to end games, because most of the games that we lost to the Heat was within a couple of minutes. We lost the lead or we did something and they won the game. We’re finding ways, like I said, to win at the end of the games, and without me being there, it’s great and it’s boosting their confidence.”
On whether end-of-game situations will be the difference maker for the Bulls this postseason, he says, “I think that’s huge in the Playoffs—closing out games—that’s huge.” While Rose had mentioned that his teammates gained valuable experience closing out contests without him on the court, I’m sure everyone is ready to have the ball back in his hands in the waning minutes of tight games.