Detroit Pistons: Derrick Rose looks to lead young team in year 13

Detroit Pistons Derrick Rose sizes up New Orleans Pelicans Jrue Holiday. (Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons Derrick Rose sizes up New Orleans Pelicans Jrue Holiday. (Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images) /

As the Detroit Pistons begin their rebuild, Derrick Rose is hoping to take on a leadership role.

Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin and a reinvigorated, young Detroit Pistons team are back at the grind in training camp for the first time in what seems like an eternity.

It’s been nine long months since the Pistons last took the court, which was a 124-106 defeat at the hands of the Philadelphia 76ers in Philly.

The Pistons will rejoice when they take the court this Friday in the Motor City against the New York Knicks at 6 p.m.

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Savvy veteran Rose spoke on the upcoming season, saying, “Troy [Weaver] is getting pros and that’s no knock to the people that were here last year.  I’m just fortunate to be here myself, but the guys that he brought in they all seem like they’re hungry.  We have a good, good young team.”

Rose, who turned 32 in October, is entering his 13th year, along with Blake Griffin in his 11th year as the two former all-stars look to lead a young squad.

“It’s a great place to be in,” Rose said.  “We have young guys, but me and Blake have been through a lot of [expletive].  We have a lot of experience, and we can give these kids a lot of knowledge.  It’s up to them how good they want to become.  We’re just blessed to be in this situation having young blood in the locker room basically everywhere.  Just feeding off their energy and creating synergy.”

Rose is specifically looking forward to playing with and mentoring the Pistons top draft pick Killian Hayes.

“I love his game, and it’s an honor to play with a talent like that,” Rose remarked.  “I told him that he was the future of the team, and to know that it’s no competing.  My job here is to push him and groom him into a great player.  Try to get on him in practice as much as possible because in the game he’s a kid.  Coming from overseas, guys are going to try to play aggressive with him.”

However, Rose is assured Hayes is up to the task, looking to balance mentorship and instilling confidence in the young 19-year-old.

Rose has a plethora of experience to draw from, including several trips with team USA Olympic basketball that influence his role in mentoring the young Pistons.

“For one I love his [Hayes] poise, he has great poise for a young guard,” Rose complimented Hayes on.  “He’s very talented … my job coming in, I have to do what, like when I used to play for the USA team when we used to play against Kobe and Bron, they used to trap us and pick us up full court.

“Just try to make us feel uncomfortable.  I have to do the same thing for him.  I’m not worried about him.  He can play.”

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Rose also takes the lessons he learned from his vets in his first years in the NBA as a very young 19-year-old just like Hayes.

“When I was coming in the league I had guards too, but a lot of the guys I was cool with were big men,” Rose noted.  I had Kurt Thomas, Tim Thomas, Brad Miller.  Guards [like] Kirk Hinrich, Lindsey Hunter, Rip Hamilton.  There’s numerous guys.”

“I’ve always had a special relationship with all the guys on the team.  That’s why the teams or the years that I did play when I was healthy everybody kind of believed in me because I had a special relationship with everybody.”

Rose has been there and done that, knowing fully where Hayes is as a young man in the NBA.  The 13-year vet has also mentored young guards in the past saying, “The last time I had this, I had Marquis Teague from Kentucky back when I was in Chicago … now that I have the opportunity again with someone like this, I’m very excited.”

Additionally, as Rose heads into his second year in Detroit and fifth year removed from the Chicago Bulls, the former MVP knows his role as a veteran more than ever.

“Last year I felt like I really couldn’t do that in my first year, but this year I got a year under my belt,” Rose acknowledged.

“I’m not the guy that’s going to come in and say something off the rip off of what I did in the past.  The past is in the past.  I’m a different guy.  I’m a different player.  I’m just trying to take everything in, be very appreciative of where I’m at and how far I’ve made it in this league.”

In a recent Adidas feature video titled “The story’s bigger than me,” Rose put in perspective his rise to become the NBA’s youngest MVP, fall of being out of the league and a relentless comeback.

“I went to hell and back,” Rose remarked.  “I was down.  I was out, but the story is bigger than me … My platform of basketball has given me the chance to touch others in another way that I can’t even explain.”

Rose is coming into this season with a strong drive to be a mentor in order to help the Pistons achieve success after a disappointing record last season.

Rose has also put in an all-time high of hours to back the hunger for the game he grew up loving.

“I’m hungry, but I never worry about basketball,” Rose said.  “I’ve put too many hours in.  I’ve doubled my hours to 10,000 hours.  I’ve at least doubled that or tripled that.  Basketball, I don’t worry about.  Just my mental.”

“Making sure I get a better understanding of learning who I am.  Learning the position I hold in my family.  Basketball I never worry about.  Just always my family, health and all the other things outside of it.”

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