Derrick Rose Says He Doesn't Want Fame, Is Still Playing in NBA for His Son

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistAugust 29, 2017

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 20: Derrick Rose #25 of the New York Knicks shoots the ball against the LA Clippers  on March 20, 2017 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Derrick Rose has faded out of public view since signing a one-year deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers in June, but he broke his silence in an interview released Tuesday.      

Speaking exclusively to the Associated Press' Tim Reynolds, Rose discussed his career at length, including the forces that drive him day in and day out, and why he doesn't want to bask in the NBA's limelight. 

"I've always been into movies," Rose said. "And I've always asked why you don't see famous actors all the time. Why don't you see George Clooney? For real, why don't you see him? It always comes back to how they don't want the fame. So when I got into the NBA, I never wanted to tap into that."

The 28-year-old point guard also disclosed he strives to make his son proud after telling reporters in November 2014 he had pondered a life after basketball because of how injuries had affected his body. 

"He's the only reason that I'm playing this game," Rose said, per Reynolds. "My dad wasn't around. So my mom was that figure for me. I want to be the example to my son, the dad that I didn’t have. He's going to do what he wants to do, but sometimes he's going to be like, 'Damn, Pops was right all these times.' It's going to hit him one day."

Rose had a hectic and controversial year in New York. The Knicks fined him $200,000 after he went missing before a game against the New Orleans Pelicans for unclear reasons, which he later labeled as a "family issue." Rose will attempt to find vintage form with the defending Eastern Conference champions—who will deploy the 2010-11 MVP as a backup point guard. 

"He wanted to be in a place where he can play with excellent players and a place where he can play in meaningful games," general manager Koby Altman said of Rose at his introductory press conference in July, per Cleveland.com's Chris Fedor. "It's funny, he uses the term, 'I just want to hoop.' He just wants to be here. He's excited to be here. He's in a great space mentally, and his body looks great, and we're really excited about him."

For all of Rose's defensive and jump-shooting shortcomings, there are reasons to be excited about his arrival. 

In 64 games for the Knicks last season, Rose averaged 18.0 points per contest on 47.1 percent shooting from the field—the most efficient mark he's hit since the 2009-10 campaign. 

Buoying that sturdy figure was a 51.2 percent conversion rate on drives. According to NBA.com's player tracking data, that was the same conversion rate Isaiah Thomas posted and 3.2 percent higher than the figure reigning MVP Russell Westbrook recorded. 

Among players who registered at least eight drives per game, Rose ranked fourth behind DeMar DeRozan, Damian Lillard and new teammate LeBron James, respectively, by scoring points in some form or another on 81.6 percent of his full-steam-ahead pushes to the rim. 

What's more, Rose entered that elite company despite playing in a triangle offense that didn't suit his skills. 

"On the court was when it was the craziest to me," Rose told Reynolds of the Knicks' scheme. "Some of the strategies and all that, I didn't understand. It was confusing. It was just a learning experience."

Now on a mission to prove he can contribute in a meaningful way for a championship-caliber team, Rose should have every chance to shine as the Cavaliers eye a fourth straight Eastern Conference title in 2017-18. On an individual level, Rose will surely appreciate James' playmaking and ability to make his teammates better.