Derrick Rose, reunited with Tom Thibodeau, gets shot with Timberwolves to revive career

Jerry Zgoda, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Basketball

MINNEAPOLIS -- Three days after becoming a father again, 10-year NBA veteran and former league MVP Derrick Rose on Thursday signed with the Timberwolves in a transaction that felt like coming home to a team for which he has never played.

Rose signed a contract for the rest of the season -- making him eligible for the playoffs -- and reunited with Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau, Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson and a coaching staff he knows from five seasons in Chicago.

"I've been knowing them and been in battle with them for years, so it's comfortable," Rose said after he participated with his new team for the first time at a Thursday morning shootaround. "I'm very comfortable. Usually when I'm comfortable, I play well."

At age 29, he has joined his fourth NBA team -- his third in the last year -- seeking to revive with his former coach a career that included that dizzying MVP season in 2010-11, multiple knee surgeries and a 2016 trial in which a federal jury found him and two friends not liable in a civil suit that accused them of rape.

"I'm still here," Rose said when asked about his character and the Los Angeles trial. "That shows everybody about my character and all that. I'm still here playing. I still love the game. I can sit here and tell you all this by expressing it with words, but I want to do it with action, by me going out there and playing the way I want to play and playing the way that's going to help this team win."

Signed by Cleveland last summer, the Cavaliers dealt Rose to Utah at last month's trade deadline and the Jazz promptly waived him, which made him a free agent. Rose said he waited for the birth of his daughter this week before signing with another team and said his job now is to get his new teammates incorporated into the offense and invested into the team.

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"I'm wholeheartedly invested, even though I just got here," Rose said. "I just want to play and have the opportunity to show that I can still play."

He joins a team that already has point guards Jeff Teague, Tyus Jones and little-used Aaron Brooks. Thibodeau says the Wolves' backcourt has "great versatility" in a league where two point guards playing together has become a norm.

Thibodeau and Rose said Rose can play with both Teague and Jones in the same backcourt, like Jones and Kris Dunn played together last season.

"I think I can play with anybody, to tell you the truth," Rose said. "I know the game. I'm not a selfish player. I'm not here for stats or anything like that. I just want to win and help this team and franchise win."


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