was flanked by his mother when he won the 2011 MVP award. (Chicago Tribune/Getty Images)
There's always been an on-ball ferocity to Bulls guard Derrick Rose, who made an MVP name for himself by attacking relentlessly on the perimeter, using a quick, powerful crossover and excellent instincts to turn the corner, split the double or blow by the defense, depending on what any given situation demanded.
A rested and rehabilitated Rose has spent this week hammering a pair of themes following his lost 2012-13 season: he loves his hometown of Chicago and he loves the game of basketball.
To that list, add the following: The Chicago Tribune reports Wednesday that Rose is ready to get back to his "no holds barred" approach on the court.
"I'm a guy where whoever is on the court, I'm going to go at them," Rose said. "If it's my teammates -- it could be my mom on the court, she's going to get killed. I could care less. For me, I'm just trying to build that mentality where I don't care who's out there, I'm trying to play the same way."
The love between Rose and his mother is well-documented. Growing up in Chicago, Rose and his brothers were raised by Brenda, a single mother. Rose honored Brenda by naming the red colorway of his new "D Rose 4" Adidas signature sneaker after her, and he singled her out as his motivation when he received the 2011 MVP award, as she wiped away tears.
"I want to thank my mom, the reason I play the way that I play just knowing the days that I don't feel like going into practice, or if I'm having a hard time," he said. "My day shouldn't be hard because I love doing what I'm doing and that's playing basketball. You keep me going every day and I love you."
In an emotional 2011 interview with TNT, Rose said that he would never "stop being her baby," and Brenda marveled at his play.
"I don't believe how fast he is, and how he quick he is, how he turns his body," she said. "He turns this way, he turns that way, I be saying, 'Where did that come from?' I see some moves he do, and it just amazes me."
Even though Brenda has scolded her son in the past for using profanity during games, you can bet she's overjoyed to hear these words, even if they are direct and a touch violent. Brenda watched with the rest of the basketball universe as her son was helped off the court, when he broke down in tears during a press conference, and when he had his mental toughness questioned when he didn't return to the court last season. After months of hearing Rose say that he didn't feel ready to get back out there, Brenda must be thrilled to hear her son speaking so confidently, and sounding so much like the pre-injury version of himself.
Video via YouTube user TheNBAHiighlights