When Derrick Rose signed a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers, he placed a lot of faith in himself.
Although he seemingly couldn’t land a more lucrative deal elsewhere, Rose decided to take a humble approach and gamble on himself.
All he had to do was stay healthy.
Lasting just seven games, Rose averaged 14.3 points in 26.9 minutes before taking time away from the team to nurse an ankle injury.
During that time, he reportedly contemplated his future in the league. The concept of retirement was floated around by a number of reporters.
Dr. Michael Casale, a cognitive neuroscientist and chief science officer at StriVR labs, believes that Rose’s injuries have taken a mental toll on him.
“His injury must have caused so much mental trauma. The neuroscience part of me comes out and starts to think about, as far as the brain rewiring, it must be so unbelievably impactful to have that one moment change the way you think about yourself and your environment,” Casale told Bleacher Report.
However, Rose recently indicated that his mental health is in tact.
“You don’t have to worry about me. I’m not depressed. I’m good. A lot of people think I’m depressed because of what I’m going through. It’s the total opposite. I learned from my mistakes three or four years ago when I put myself into a shell,” Rose told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated.
I’m staying with my team, staying with my family, communicating and just being open,” the former NBA MVP said.
When asked if he missed being away from the game, Rose made it clear that he couldn’t live without basketball in his life.
“I’m here. That is why I am here. The game is in me,” he claimed. “That is why I am here. It’s a part of my life. I can’t explain how much I dedicated and sacrificed in my life for this game. Nobody will be able to understand that. I put in too many hours. Nobody will ever understand it.”
In regards to the retirement rumors, Rose said “No. No. That’s stupid. I don’t want to even talk about that,” thus completely dismissing the idea.
"I'm in love with the game. The love of the game. I still am a winner. I still love learning the game. Where else can you learn more than from Golden State or [Cleveland]? LeBron has been to the Finals eight times and seven straight years. I played against him a lot of times. I’ve learned so much from him and the whole team. It’s just a fun experience being around this team,” Rose explained, clearly eager to get back on the court in the near future.
There is no timetable on his return, though.
“I can’t think about a due date or is this going to be the day. It’s about me making the most of my days, getting treatment and staying atop everything so I can return as soon as possible,” he stated.
When Rose eventually returns, he will presumably join the team’s second unit alongside Dwyane Wade, a thought that would have been farfetched a few seasons ago.