Derrick Rose, affectionately known as “Pooh”, is Chicago’s pride and joy, and native son, and he is unsurprisingly uncomfortable with all the attention he gets just for being himself.
I say its unsurprising because what celebrity do you know (sans a Kardashian) that is comfortable being under a curious, prying and watchful eye mostly every moment of their life?
In an interview with GQ Magazine, Rose discusses his upbringing in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, his family, his desire to win and the solace he finds when on the court. It is the reasoning for the latter that may catch some people off guard, or perhaps put some people off.
The trappings of stardom for Rose include a new luxury condo in downtown Chicago, lucrative deals with the Chicago Bulls and adidas, and the ability to provide for his family for the rest of their lives if he protects his fortune.
It also includes unbridled attention and fame, the likes of which he never imagined. It is obvious that he mourns his loss of privacy when he makes the following statement….
“It gets on my nerves that I just can’t go out,” he says. “It’s just boundaries now. People are like, ‘You can’t go here, you can’t go there, you got to let that person know where you’re going.’ It’s just weird. I’m never alone. Ever.”
I get it. For many years, I’ve been privy to the lifestyles, good and bad, of athletes and how living in a fishbowl can alter their lives in ways few can imagine. Without a doubt, someone will read the GQ article and think of Rose as ungrateful, but I don’t see it that way. Everyone is not cut out for bright. shining lights. If you are quiet, reserved and perhaps shy, how would you feel if you were in his shoes?
The twiiterverse and the blogosphere bristle at the way he speaks, as it is often monotone and mumbled, but he has gotten better, and with time he will be a pro, albeit still reluctant, I’m sure.
Below are a few of the interesting things he had to say throughout the interview….
On Michael Jordan:
“I’ve run into him a couple of times, but we don’t have a relationship,” he says. “His titles drive me. I’m not scared of him; if anything, it makes me work harder when I do train.”
On his own image:
“I won’t ever put myself in a bad position so that people can say bad things about me,” he says. “I make smart decisions, and my friends and my family, they are all there for the right reason. I’m very mature for 23 years old, and I know that whatever I do can hurt someone.”
On introducing President Obama at a fund-raiser:
“That was my first time ever speaking to that type of crowd,” he says. “I was so nervous and scared. Just a two- or three-minute thing, but, like, thousands of people were there. I was nervous as hell…but I got it done, and it helped me being more vocal, too, by doing that.”
Agent B.J. Armstrong on what he sees as Rose’s strength:
“I have said his greatest asset, his greatest quality, is that he is a phenomenal, phenomenal listener,” BJ Armstrong says. Armstrong, who played on three of those Jordan championship teams, is now one of Rose’s closest mentors. “He listens. He is able to take information, decipher what is important, decipher what is not important, and gets to the crux, right to the heart of what is going on right there.”
There is no strong argument that can be made against Rose’s level of talent — he is a phenomenal basketball player. What is yet to be seen, at least for the public, is how phenomenal a person he is. I think he gives us enough, though. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned thus far in life is that you have to keep a little something for yourself. You can’t give it all away.
Read the entire Derrick Rose interview on GQ.com.
Photos from GQ.com.