CHICAGO – Times have changed for Derrick Rose.
In his first stint as a Knick, Rose contemplated retirement in 2016-17. Now, Rose is talking about possibly playing well into his 40s and making a stunning Tom Brady reference on Thursday morning in his hometown. It was a surprising comment considering his multiple major knee surgeries.
Rose is 33. Brady is 44.
On the morning of “Joakim Noah Night” — when the Bulls were to honor the former center with the Knicks in town — Rose was asked if he thinks about his own ceremony on days like this.
“No, I try to remove myself from that,’’ Rose said at the United Center after shootaround. “Hopefully I’m going to try to Tom Brady this thing, play as long as possible, make sure I really take care of my body. And if I’m playing play with joy. I don’t have to score 30 points a night anymore to effect the game.
“I can come out, do what I’ve got to do. I’ve got a great supporting cast with Ju (Julius Randle) and everything in the starting five, even the guys that are on the bench, we have a great rhythm.’’
Indeed, Rose, who signed a three-year contract in August, is reborn in New York during his second stint here that began last February when the youthful Pistons dumped him in a trade for Dennis Smith Jr.
Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau suggested that Rose and Noah — the former Bulls teammates — are like “brothers.” But they also played one season together with the Knicks. Rose was in a different place at that point and couldn’t enjoy it. Neither did Noah, who is still on the Knicks’ books this season after receiving a stretch provision.
“To tell you the truth I can’t even think about Jo when I was going through what I was going through out there, brah,’’ Rose said. “It was a whirlwind, brah. Me learning who I was as a young man, trying to figure out if I still wanted to play. Going through my injuries and everything. I was going through a lot. To think about him, it was too much on my plate at the time.’’
Rose took a brief leave of absence from the Knicks that season without informing the franchise and he’s confirmed he contemplated retirement. Now Rose is thinking about 10 more years.