The New York Knicks would, for all intents and purposes, like to forget the 2008-09 NBA season.
Sure, their new century struggles feel like they've all blurred into one never-ending nightmare, but that was a year that began with their eviction from the top five in the NBA Draft (missing out on Kevin Love) and the ensuing 33-win season bid farewell to Stephon Marbury.
Derrick Rose, on the other hand, is more than happy to return to the days of "The Dark Knight" and "Tha Carter III."
While many saw Rose, set to turn 34 in two weeks, as an expendable veteran in the Knicks' plan to lure in expensive newcomers, he's nonetheless one of the more well-known commodities of the team's training camp proceedings in Tarrytown. His preparation, shared on the Knicks' social media accounts, features quotes from Rose that will have fans ready to hop into a time machine.
"Last year, I can only say so much, do so much, when you're injured. So, I haven't felt this healthy in a long time, back to my rookie weight, 195 (lbs.) right now!" Rose says as he rides the team stationary bike. "It's been, what, 13 years since I've been that weight. So it's a blessing."
Rose has spent parts of the last two seasons in New York after one prior campaign in 2016-17. While he's been a solid veteran contributor off the bench (averaging 13.5 points in primarily a reserve's role), injuries have eaten away at any major impact he can make. Last season saw him limited to 26 games, dealing with ankle woes that included surgery and a skin infection. He played at a listed weight of 200 lbs. over the last two seasons.
But Rose's new slim frame could be just what he needs to recapture even the slightest spark of his MVP self and the prime of his career built under current Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau's watch in Chicago.
Speaking on a televised interview with MSG Network, Knicks president Leon Rose mentioned that the unrelated Derrick's off-camera showcases of his new frame has him excited about the season ahead.
"I hope I won't embarrass him by saying this. But when I looked out my window the other day when the guys were out there working out. He was walking around without his shirt on. So I think he was like trying to let everybody know (he's) back," Leon Rose said with a laugh. "That guy was the heart and soul of our team two years ago, and we missed him dearly last year. So we're really excited about getting him back."
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags
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