Derrick Rose has his head in the clouds.
This isn't to say he can't concentrate, is irresponsible or is trying to make it rain meatballs. He's just able to jump really, really high. Always has been.
But just as Ricky Bobby wanted to go faster, Rose wanted to jump higher. So he did.
Coming out of Memphis, he registered a "no-step" vertical of 34.5 inches and a max vertical of 40 inches. Prior to his ACL injury, he was soaring about 37 inches off the ground. Post-injury, he says he's at 42 inches, per ESPN Chicago's Nick Friedell, much to the dismay of opposing defenses everywhere.
I think I jump higher. I think coming into the league I was at 37 [inches vertical jump] and they tested my vertical at [a training facility], I'm probably at like a 42 [inches], so I'm jumping a little bit higher.
He told Figman:
I think I’m a lot quicker, a lot more explosive, and I think I’m gonna go this year without that many nagging injuries, just trying to prevent it by stretching and doing all the things I have to do to take care of my body.
Now that's incredible. And completely unfair if you're a fan of one of the 29 other teams in the NBA.
To question whether this injury was the best thing that ever happened to Rose is stupid and insensitive. Nevertheless, could that be the case?
The point guard is bigger, faster and stronger and can jump higher than before. And who knows what's next?
Maybe he'll find a way to become taller or immortal. Or perhaps he'll be able to sweet-talk defenders into giving him easy buckets. It doesn't seem like we can rule anything out at this point.
Somehow, Rose has turned his prolonged absence into a good thing, and we've yet to see him play in a regular-season game. Rehabilitation has treated him well, and if you believe everything he's said and buy into what we've seen up until now, he's a better player overall.
“I think I’m more balanced,” Rose said after Chicago's victory over Indy, per Bleacher Report's Howard Beck.
On a related note, I think the rest of the NBA is more scared of him and his springing verticals than ever before.