Just three years ago, Derrick Rose's career had reached a nadir and it appeared his time in the NBA could be reaching its endpoint.
Having rejuvenated his career and found a new home in New York, Rose doesn't plan to quit playing anytime soon.
“I’m going to try to Tom Brady this thing,” Rose told reporters. “Play as long as possible, make sure I really take care of my body. And make sure I’m playing with joy.”
Rose, the 2011 NBA MVP who saw his career derailed by injuries, may have been done in the league entirely if it weren't for his relationship with Tom Thibodeau. The coach gave Rose a chance with the Minnesota Timberwolves, leading to Rose finding confidence as an energizer off the bench. He then signed a two-year deal with the Detroit Pistons, who traded him to the Knicks to reunite with Thibs last season.
Rose is off to a scorching start to the 2021-22 campaign, shooting 57.9 percent from three-point range and propping up the Knicks' bench unit.
Having just turned 33, Rose has a long, long way to go if he hopes to pull a Brady. Only two pro basketball players, Nat Hickey and Kevin Willis, have played to Brady's current age (44). It's worth noting that Hickey was a head coach and inserted himself onto the Providence Steamrollers roster in 1948; he doesn't exactly count for these purposes.
Other players who have had lengthy careers are typically big men, who can still take advantage of their height even when their athleticism wanes. Given how much of Rose's game is predicated on his bounce off the dribble, it seems pretty unlikely he'll be on the floor at age 40.
That said, counting Rose out has never been a particularly good idea.