NBA AM: Derrick Rose: ‘I’m Way More Explosive’
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The New Derrick Rose: Preseason is preseason and every night since exhibition games got underway another unexpected player hangs up a big number. So last night when Derrick Rose dropped 22 points on 6-of-9 shooting and 9-of-10 from the foul line in 22 minutes, it’s easy to dismiss as simply another one of those preseason eruptions.
Rose, however, can explain where this burst came from.
“I think I’m way more explosive now,” Rose said to Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com. “Like getting to the rim. I think I can take contact a little bit better. And as far as jumping-wise, I think I can jump even higher. They tested my vertical — I increased it by five inches. I just didn’t show it yet because there’s no need to.
“The biggest thing is after you have an ACL or any injury, it’s the mental part,” Rose added. “And for me not to think about anything no more and actually be reacting to the defense and the offense, it feels great knowing that I’m safe. I don’t have to worry about anything at all, even if I go to the hole and get contact and fall any type of way, that I could easily get up and bounce right back and play the way that I normally know how to play.”
Rose sat out a preseason game for precautionary reasons. The Bulls also said he sat out a couple of practices for the same reason. While Rose has had some expected soreness he says he’s not having any issues.
“I feel normal right now,” Rose said. “I’m not worried about anything. I don’t have any aches or have any nagging injuries or anything. I’m really taking care of my body and really preparing myself for this long season.”
Rose also understands that after winning an MVP award two seasons ago and sitting out a year he’s no longer an unknown.
“I think every team, every player I play against is coming for me,” Rose said. “Who don’t want to make a name off me right now? I always think about that and take that into consideration when I’m going out there and playing.”
While Rose clearly wants to reclaim his status as one of the elite in the NBA, he also has a bigger goal in mind and that is to win a championship, as soon as this year.
“Oh, yeah,” Rose said. “That’s the goal. That’s our No. 1 goal is winning the title. We’re not worried about anything else. We’re not worried about what people say about us or what’s going on on the outside. We’re just about the Bulls and how good we can get every day.”
The Bulls are 4-0 on the preseason so far and are third best in the NBA in point differential, holding teams to just 81.3 points per game in their four contests, which is the second lowest in the league.
The Bulls open their regular season on October 29 at the Miami HEAT, so Rose will get a chance to see what a championship celebration looks like as Miami will receive their championship rings and raise their championship banner from last season.
We Want To Know:
Melo Wants Free Agency: The list of players who can become free agents this July is an impressive list. It includes the likes of HEAT forward LeBron James, Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony and Raptors forward Rudy Gay just to name a few. Each would have to opt out of their existing deals to make free agency happen and it remains to be seen if any of the notable players will do that, but for Anthony the appeal of free agency is real, if only to sniff around and kick the tires on other situations.
“I want to be a free agent,” Anthony said to Rafi Kohan of The New York Observer. “I think everybody in the NBA dreams to be a free agent at least one time in their career. It’s like you have an evaluation period, you know. It’s like if I’m in the gym and I have all the coaches, all the owners, all the GMs come into the gym and just evaluate everything I do. So yes, I want that experience.”
That in and of itself does not mean Anthony plans to pack his bags in New York.
“I came to New York for a reason,” Anthony said. “I’ve been with you all my life, almost to a fault. I wanted to come here and take on the pressures of playing in New York. So one thing I would tell my fans: If you haven’t heard it from me, then it ain’t true.”
Anthony says he understands how different and demanding playing in New York can be and that was one of the appeals of coming to New York was to overcome those hurdles, something he has learned the hard way.
“People in New York, they expect higher than they should expect, let’s just be quite frank,” Anthony said. “Which is good. That’s what makes New York New York. But it was like, O.K., maybe I gotta put another layer [of skin] on.
“My first year in New York, I had to go through some times, like, I really got to figure this out,” Anthony added. “You have to approach life in New York day by day, because you’re only as good as yesterday. That’s what I figured out. By year three, which was last year, it was like, I got it now.”
Anthony’s goal remains the same, to win a championship, something he thinks is going to happen.
“I feel like I’m going to get one, this year, next year. I still got a long time in this league,” Anthony said.
Anthony has two years remaining on his current deal and is scheduled to make $21.38 million this season. Anthony has an Early Termination Option for next season worth $23.33 million which he can leave on the table and hit free agency in July of 2014.
Currently the Knicks are locked into their current roster through the summer of 2015, so making substantial changes this summer to placate a potential Anthony free agency move won’t be possible, however if Anthony stays the course, the Knicks are poised to have mountains of free agent money in July of 2015.
Won’t Be Nearly That’s Big: Jared Zwerling penned an interesting piece for Bleacher Report suggesting that Kansas star Andrew Wiggins could be in line for a shoe deal worth more than $180 million.
While the piece is clearly well written and provides some interesting insight from outside the process, the reality is that Wiggins is clearly going to get a monster shoe contract, the figures being tossed around are simply not realistic in the current climate of shoe sales and shoe deals.
The purpose here isn’t to try and disparage Jared, that’s not the case at all. Because as a good reporter, he is reporting what others have said to him.
The problem is the people talking about Wiggins’ eventual shoe deal are not the ones writing the checks.
Those people – the power brokers at Nike, adidas and even UnderArmour – aren’t dolling out that kind of cash to anyone, let alone Wiggins.
The current deal that LeBron James has with Nike is worth roughly $90 million. It’s James’ second $90 million pact with Nike. Adidas backed the Brinks truck up for Derrick Rose on a deal worth an estimated $180 million, although when it was initially reported it was said to be worth more than $300 million.
Industry sources say while Rose’s deal is one of the biggest adidas has ever done in basketball, it’s a complex deal that’s tied to a lot of factor that “could” yield that kind of money based on performance incentives. Most shoe deals have those, where a player gets bonuses for playoffs, All-Star games and winning major post-season awards.
There isn’t nearly as much guaranteed cash in these deals as you might think and these brands make the guys work for what’s in there with grueling offseason promotion tours across the world.
There is no doubt that Wiggins is going to set a new bar for the rookie shoe contract, but considering the best guys in the game are getting somewhere in the neighborhood of $80 to $100 million in shoe contracts, suggesting that Wiggins will double that figure as a rookie is a little unrealistic, mainly because it leaves out a few key details.
Rose was able to command his deal in part because he became instantly credible in the playground scene. Young kids adored and related to him and he moved product. He also was in the playoffs early in his career. The demand at retail for Rose prompted adidas to launch not only a D Rose product line, but sub-sets like the 773 series because the appetite for all things Rose has been huge, but even Rose had to prove that at the cash register and on the court.
Nike’s deal with James is said to be barely profitable, mainly because his products are expensive to create and his deal comes with a sizable marketing commitment on top of what he’s paid directly.
As one insider pointed out about James’ deal, it’s not just what he’s paid; it’s also what a brand has to commit to in terms of branding and promotion. James is said to receive $90 million from Nike for his end and another $90 million in brand and product promotion. Those TV ads featuring James don’t come cheap and they are part of his deal.
Now will Wiggins command a similar type deal? Very possible, so when you say a brand will commit $180 million to Wiggins, that might be true, but he’s not pocketing $180 million.
Equally there have been some suggestions of a 10-to-14 year contract out of the gate. That too seems a little unrealistic considering no one has ever gotten a deal like that before playing a game, and almost every brand that did a super long-term deal ended up losing in the end. Adidas did a monster long-term deal with Tracy McGrady that was a loss at the end.
When you consider the risk, even for a kid with Wiggins’ potential, think about Greg Oden, Michael Beasley, Evan Turner or Wes Johnson – all were expected to take the NBA by storm and simply didn’t for one reason or another. Admittedly Wiggins is a lot less risky than any of those players, but that concept never gets lost on the first deal.
Where Wiggins gets drafted is also going to play a huge role in his deal’s value. Rose landed in Chicago, which absolutely had an impact on his deal’s ultimate value.
One other factor to consider is that outside of UnderArmour, Nike has their two flagship players in LeBron James and Kobe Bryant plus a huge cast of guys that includes Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. Adidas has Derrick Rose as a flagship, but also boasts Dwight Howard, Damian Lillard, John Wall, Ricky Rubio and a few dozen rising talents.
There is no doubting that Wiggins is going to get a hefty contract but to suggest that number is going to eclipse and possibly double everyone in the field today is a little unrealistic.
It might be time to lower the bar a little bit on what Wiggins is going to be at the next level.
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