At the launch of his new line for adidas, Derrick Rose watched two videos: one showing how he tore his ACL in Game 1 of the Chicago Bulls’ first-round series against Philadelphia; the other a clip of him going through rehabilitation. And when someone asked him about the support he has received since then, the 2011 NBA MVP burst into tears.
”It’s truly a blessing with all the stuff that is going on in the city,” said Rose, a product of the tough Englewood neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. ”A kid from Englewood’s got something positive going on. That makes me feel so good. . . To have my true fans, that means a lot to me and I know it means a lot to my family.”
Rose was referring to the record-setting murder rate in Chicago, especially on the southside, where Rose grew up and maintains a strong allegiance.
The 35-minute session was led by a company executive, and Rose did not take questions about basketball from the media. But the video got to him.
”Derrick is just as authentic as you can get,” said Adidas global basketball vice president Lawrence Norman, who moderated the session. ”There’s no way you can measure that. That’s probably the most important thing because that’s the most endearing quality to his fans and to all of us.”
It’s also a big reason why his story – from South Side to stardom with his hometown team and now a comeback from a major knee injury – is such a big focus of the campaign surrounding the new product line. Rose hasn’t said much about it since he went down. Other than video clips posted online and an interview with CSNChicago.com, he’s been mostly quiet.
He said his surgically repaired knee is getting better and that he started jumping ”a couple days ago,” another step in his recovery. He is rehabilitating five days a week in an effort to return this season after that devastating injury.
Rose tore the ACL late in the Bulls’ playoff-opening win over Philadelphia, a huge setback that sent them spiraling toward a first-round exit after capturing the top seed in the East. The injury is expected to keep him out for a major chunk of the season. And even when he returns, it remains to be seen when or even if he’ll regain the explosiveness that made him one of the game’s best players.
”Everybody says All-Star break (to return), but we don’t tell him that,” older brother Reggie Rose said. ”It’s really just his mental psyche. That’s the major thing we have to work on and his (confidence) playing with the injury, just knowing it was an injury and it’s not still an injury.”
”His body is looking amazing, his core and everything,” Reggie said. ”Right now, he’s running a little bit. He’s shooting. I know one of the major things he’s going to have to have is his cardio.”
Derrick Rose still experiences some soreness in his leg, but he sees the strides.
”I think this is the only time in my life I’ve worked on my core as much as I do now,” he said at the event.