New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose surprised a lot of people last month when he spoke about seeking a max contract next summer. Many were surprised with it because they believe he does not deserve one as he is not the same player he used to be earlier in his career.
However, the former MVP recently told New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy that he is not driven by that anymore. Rose also said that he’s just thankful for the opportunity to continue playing at the highest level and try to become the best player he can be.
“See it here and there but it doesn’t drive me anymore. Like I always been driven by playing basketball and wanting to be the best. Like (money) numbers, of course you got to know it because of how I grew up. I grew up around the streets. Hustling. You see numbers, you can’t look over them. But I’m just happy that I have an opportunity for them to see how I perform and let them see what I’m worth.”
He added that he can still compete with the best and that there’s a lot of game left in him.
“I feel like I can compete against every one of them guys when I step on the floor. It’s never like it’s a pushover, and that’s the only thing I want people to see. It’s not sweet. It’s not a pushover. And I can still hoop.”
Rose will be an unrestricted free agent after this season for the first time and it will be interesting to see how much interest he’ll generate from teams around the league. Despite his history of injuries, he has remained healthy so far this year and is averaging 17.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.5 assists for the struggling Knicks. If he can continue playing at the level he’s in now and also stay away from injuries, he will give himself a big chance of securing a lucrative deal in the summer even if it’s not a max contract.