Former Cleveland Cavaliers guard Derrick Rose, who signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves as a free agent this week, had a strong message for his critics Saturday as he begins his next chapter in the league.
“This is how I feel about it, the whole perspective on it: You could have your perspective on me, as far as I’m a bum, I can’t play, I can’t shoot, this and that, all right, cool,” he said, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN. “I have no hard feelings with that. I’m cool with that.
“[If] that’s how you feel, that’s how you feel, but at the same time, I don’t need your f–king validation. I know who I am, I know what type of player I am. So you respect that and I respect that [point of view] and we should be good. That’s how I feel about it.”
Rose, who played just 16 games for Cleveland this season because of an injured ankle and was traded to Utah on deadline day only to be subsequently waived, signed with Minnesota for the rest of the season Thursday.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) March 8, 2018
In joining the Timberwolves, he is being reunited with Tom Thibodeau, his coach during his time with the Chicago Bulls, for whom he won NBA Most Valuable Player recognition in 2011, as well as former Chicago teammates Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson.
“I’ve been knowing them and been in battle with them for years, so it’s comfortable,” Rose said the day he signed with the Timberwolves, per the Star Tribune’s Jerry Zgoda. “I’m very comfortable. Usually, when I’m comfortable, I play well.”
That wasn’t the case while with the Cavaliers, thanks to the ankle injury. In the 16-game tenure with the three-time defending Eastern Conference champions, Rose averaged 9.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game, shooting 43.9 percent from the floor.
As the Timberwolves attempt to secure their first playoff appearance since 2004, Rose, 29, says he is ardent in his commitment to his new squad, the fourth of his NBA career. In addition to Chicago and Cleveland, he also played for the New York Knicks.
“I’m wholeheartedly invested, even though I just got here,” he said Thursday. “I just want to play and have the opportunity to show that I can still play.”
Rose did not play Thursday night against Boston and will make his Timberwolves debut against defending champion Golden State on Sunday at Staple Center.