Knicks’ Derrick Rose clears NBA protocols, shares COVID-19 battle

Alder Almo

The New York Knicks announced on Monday that Derrick Rose has already been cleared from the league’s health and safety protocols after three weeks and eight-game absence.

Rose then proceeded to address the elephant in the room.

“Oh man, I was away because I actually had [COVID-19] it. I felt all the symptoms, sick and everything, but I’m happy to be back, and that’s in the past,” Rose told reporters in his first public interview since contracting the virus.

Rose and his whole family, along with the mother of his girlfriend, got infected. He quarantined with them in their home until getting the clearance to rejoin the team in their last two games, watching from the sidelines in street clothes.

“You know it sucked, but I was just with my family. My girl, my kids, her mom, all of us had it, so we were in the house for 10-14 days taking the test and, of course, taking all the meds and everything. I was with my family, and that’s the best thing about it, but like I said, it’s in the past. Thank God, I don’t have to worry about that anymore,” Rose said of the ordeal.

Rose revealed he tested positive for the virus the day after getting inconclusive results before the Knicks game in San Antonio last March. He was thankful his kids didn’t feel worse than he did.

“It just sucks, man! You feel every pain— the body is sore, headaches and all that. The kids weren’t too bad. They had fevers and running noses, and that was pretty much it and a bad cough. But it’s real, the COVID thing. I know a lot of people overlook it, but it’s very serious. It’s real,” Rose said.

He described COVID-19 as 10 times the regular flu.

“It’s completely different. I mean, they say everybody is different, but for me, I’ve never felt anything like that before. I’ve had the flu. It wasn’t any like the flu. My sense, the flu, your stomach or like your joints and everything gives you bad [feeling] times 10. Like I said, slowly, I’m getting back. I’m progressing every day and just trying to get back in the swing of things,” Rose said.

While he was already cleared by the league, New York coach Tom Thibodeau was non-committal on the former MVP’s exact return on the court. The Knicks will play the Washington Wizards at home on Tuesday and Thursday.

“He has to go through conditioning, and once he’s ready to go, we’ll move forward with it. But he’s been out for a while now, and we’re just starting to ramp it up again, and we’ll see how it goes,” Thibodeau said.

Acquired from Detroit this season, Rose immediately made an impact on the Knicks teaming up with rookie spitfire Immanuel Quickley off the bench and later on started when Elfrid Payton went down with an injury. The Knicks have struggled without him, losing five of the eight games he missed. The Knicks were 7-3 with Rose in the lineup. He is averaging 12.5 points, 4.9 assists, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.1 steals with shooting splits of 43/46/83 for the Knicks this season.

“It sucks, especially when you get traded and I had the chance to play again,” Rose said. “The game has just been taken away from me for something like that. Getting back and playing in rhythm and trying to get myself back to where I was, it’s gonna take some time, but every day I am getting the most out of my days, so that’s all I can do.”

Rose is just happy to be out of quarantine and be back on the court practicing with the team. Besides dealing with the COVID-19, Rose also grieved the death of a close friend Langston Hampton– the younger brother of his best friend and personal assistant Randall Hampton, Empire Sports Media has learned from a source with knowledge of the situation.

“My appreciation for the game and while I was going through quarantine, I tried to take all the information and try to better myself,” Rose said. “I couldn’t exercise. I couldn’t do anything but just be around my family and read. Just leaving the house, it’s something we take for granted. Just breathing. Just everything. I went through a lot in quarantine. I’m just thankful, very thankful.”

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