Knicks' Rose acknowledges vintage form is gone

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Presumably, one of the hardest things for a professional athlete to do is come to the realization that they'll never be the player they once were, whether it's due to injury, old age, or a combination of the two.

In the case of New York Knicks point guard and former league Most Valuable Player Derrick Rose, a series of operations on both knees have greatly hindered the explosiveness he once had, although it hasn't completely rendered him inefficient as a player.

Nonetheless, Rose admits that the player who once averaged 25 points a night and took the basketball world by storm not too long ago is gone forever. Does that mean he can't be a productive talent who shouldn't be taken seriously, though? Absolutely not.

"That vintage (Rose) is gone, man," Rose said following New York's 107-103 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, according to the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy. "I told you the question should be: Can I hoop? I can hoop. It shouldn't be like he's playing like his old self. Like, if I can hoop, I can hoop, no matter if I did that when I was younger or now. I can play the game of basketball."

With perhaps his biggest bucket since arriving in The Big Apple following a trade from the Chicago Bulls, Rose stepped back and connected on his first jumper of the game over an outstretched Maurice Harkless to put his Knicks up by four with 6.8 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

"I finally shot the ball up. It's all legs, man," Rose added. "That's what I mean. Like your whole life you're used to a 1-2 rhythm. You have one injury, and that kind of resets everything. Let alone you have three, and you've got to find your 1-2, how high you want your jump on your shot, how high you want to jump on your threes.

"I missed preseason. All those little things count. Like, this entire time, these three or four years, I'm playing catch-up."

Rose finished with 18 points, four rebounds, and five assists in 28 minutes, with the victory moving New York back up to the .500 mark (7-7) for the first time since splitting the first two games of the 2016-17 regular season.

Knicks' Rose acknowledges vintage form is gone
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