Derrick Rose was changing quietly in the Pistons locker room after a game in which he did not play. The attention was on 23-year-old Luke Kennard, who scored 29 points during the 112-106 loss to the Pacers. At that specific moment, one would be hard-pressed to realize that Rose was once an NBA MVP, a perennial All-Star, and has a near $200 million endorsement deal with Adidas. However, that's just who Rose has always been even at his peak; humble, reserved, and real.
After starting the season averaging an impressive 20.8 points and 6.3 assists per game, he has missed the last four games with a hamstring injury. Something that does not appear to be any cause for concern, according to Rose, who could be seen getting up shots up before the game.
"I feel good," Rose told The Big Lead after the game. "I feel like I could play, but the organization, trainers, feel like I'll need a little bit more time."
After his memorable Chicago Bulls tenure that lasted from 2008-16, the youngest MVP in NBA history became more of a role player and a journeyman. The debilitating injuries that he endured forever took away his notorious explosiveness. At one point, there was a time when his career seemed as if an end was near when he played for the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2017-18 season. Thankfully for Rose and NBA fans, he was able to carve out a vital role for the Minnesota Timberwolves last season that gave new life to his career. Amazingly enough, the three-time All-Star looks better than anyone could have ever imagined him to be at 31-years-old after enduring all he has. In his first few months with the Detroit Pistons, he and his family have enjoyed still being in the mid-west.
"I feel like it's home," he said. "The franchise, the organization, the staff. We're transparent about everything, they communicate to me, I communicate to them. It's open dialogue about anything."
Up until the recent hamstring setback, his comfortability with his new franchise was apparent. The efficiency has been off the charts. While putting up 20.8 points and 6.3 assists, he has not even played 27 minutes in a game. Not too mention, also shooting above 56% from the field and nearly 90% from the free-throw line.
Pistons center Andre Drummond has noticed the confidence and had high praise for his new teammate.
"Derrick's confidence has been great," Drummond told The Big Lead after the game. "He's done everything he's supposed to do to take care of his body."
Drummond, the NBA's leader in rebounds during the early season, is noticing the profound confidence and is thrilled to have him on the Pistons this season.
"When he's out there, he plays with confidence," he said. "He doesn't overthink, and he just has fun while he's doing it. Truly happy to have him on my team."
Rose will likely return to the rotation soon enough, and the Pistons are also expected to get their other former All-Star Blake Griffin back into the lineup during the near future.