For the first time in his eight-year career, Derrick Rose will not be wearing a jersey of his hometown Chicago Bulls when the 2016-17 season tips off. But it's not just the team name that will be changing once Rose dons a New York Knicks jersey.
Rose has chosen to wear No. 25 to start this new phase of his career, the same number he wore when he starred at Chicago's fame Simeon High School. He chose that number while in high school to honor the school's one-time super star Benji Wilson, who was shot and killed in 1984 at 17.
"I'm not forgetting where I came from," Rose told The Vertical. "It's my roots, and I'll always give Chicago my all."
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Rose believes the number change signifies more than just an adjustment to his jersey. He says it means you'll see a different kind of player on the court.
"Now, with the No. 25, I think you'll see a more mature player," Rose said. "You'll see the player that you saw toward the end of last year. More under-control type of game, and I got a lot more options now this year. That No. 1 will always be engraved in me, and it's not going anywhere. Twenty-five is just a new step, and a new step in the right direction."
Knicks fans hope Rose can also take a step toward resembling his former self. Knee injuries have robbed him of some of his explosiveness, but that doesn't mean he can't take over games in spurts. The Knicks will soon find out if that's the case.