Everyone is upset at Derrick Rose for calling the New York Knicks a super team, but why is that such a bad thing?
New York is a basketball town.
It’s always exciting when the Mets and Yankees do well, everyone went crazy when the Giants won the Super Bowl, and the Jets made the AFC title game. The Garden is electric every night for the Rangers and Islanders fans are die hard. Yet, nothing will ever touch the energy and feel of when the Knicks are actually good, because New York lives and breathes basketball.
We’ve created some of the best players in history. From Mark Jackson and Bob Cousy to Dr. J and Kareem Abdul-Jabar, this town truly epitomizes the essence of the game. Playing on a terrible basket with no net on an equally terrible court, New York has a deep-rooted love for basketball.
Yet, That love mixed with New York’s usual brash confidence often leads to a media frenzy, and that’s exactly what happened with Derrick Rose
When asked about the hype and expectations with this team, Rose told Lang Whitaker of NBA.com:
"“[Expectations are] high, I mean, with these teams right now, they’re saying us and Golden State are the super teams, and they’re trying not to build that many super teams, and Adam Silver came out with the statement and this and that. And the expectations I think of us, we just want to win. Talking to Melo and all the guys who’ve been around. You’ve got Brandon [Jennings] who just signed for one year, he’s got to show why he’s there. I’ve got to show why I’m there. Joakim [Noah] has to show why he’s there. Everybody’s trying to prove themselves.”"
That’s a bold statement coming from a player who, since winning NBA MVP in 2010-11, hasn’t been the same as he used to be.
Some of the other players that the Knicks just acquired are either coming off questionable seasons (Brandon Jennings) or have been breaking down from the wear and tear of the game (Joakim Noah).
Calling this team a ‘super team’ on par with the Golden State Warriors is an impossible expectation to live up to, let alone defend, but we can try to understand why he said it.
Rose came over in a trade that many thought would never happen. The Knicks didn’t pay much to acquire him, and he instantly had the hopes of a franchise resting on his shoulders once again.
As Chicago’s window to win a title was dwindling down, and Rose struggled to stay healthy, you could already feel his confidence starting to dim. He was talking about life in retirement, his commitment to the game, and he was the butt of every joke.
He went from being the number one overall draft pick in 2008 to being ridiculed by the town he was literally born in.
Rose coming to New York created a buzz in this town not seen for quite a while. Every true sports fan in this city feels it. That anticipation for the season to start is palpable and this team is legitimately expected to make the playoffs for the first time in a while.
New York instantly embraced Rose coming over, from his introductory press conference to his winning smile, the guy is just likable. Yet what makes his statement really forgivable is the fact that he kind of has a point.
Calm down, this isn’t me putting the Knicks on par with a team that literally has an argument for being the best team ever assembled. The comparison to Golden State was a bit overdone but the essence behind the statement still rings true.
This is a team of players that weren’t just thrown together in a free agency scramble; these are players that recruited each other.
Rose got Noah to sign, who in turn got Courtney Lee to sign, all of which was seen by Lance Thomas so he re-signed, which led to Brandon Jennings coming aboard.
That’s a kind of cohesion rarely seen anymore. A group of players who believe in each other that much and all want to play here.
The confidence Rose is showing is a good thing, even if it’s a bit boastful. Seeing Rose being that fired up about the upcoming season and have that much confidence in the team he’s playing on, after all the heartbreak he had in Chicago, is a good thing.
Again, this isn’t an endorsement for him calling the Knicks a ‘super team’ on par with the Warriors. New York is a city like no other, we have a people who have a stubborn determination and belief in themselves, though sometimes they come off as boastful and brash.
Our teams are a reflection of that. Our players must have that drive and swagger in order to survive in this concrete jungle. Rose seems to be developing these qualities, and more importantly, rediscovering a desire to win.
New York is a basketball town, and it’s about time we had a team that reflects out personality.
The only thing left to do is wait for the season to start, and let everyone else remember that when you come into the Garden, you better be ready.