I always say, “life is what you make it” and NBA player Derrick Rose sure did make the best out of it. He’s young, educated, successful and very wealthy (he’s such an inspiration of mines). Growing up in the streets on the South Side of Chicago, in the Englewood neighborhood, one of the most notoriously dangerous communities in the country did not stop Rose from chasing his dreams of being a NBA player. Last season, at 22, he became the youngest ever NBA MVP; he has played in three All-Star games in his first four seasons and has a contract with Adidas reportedly worth more than $200 million. Yes, some sport fans already know that Chicago has a proud, historic basketball tradition, from Isiah Thomas to Dwyane Wade to George Mikan. But none of those guys ever played for the Bulls. At just 23, Derrick Rose already has an MVP award, a $95 million contract, and a direct line to the White House. Rose lives on the eighty-fourth floor of the Trump building in Chicago. He is covering the latest issue of GQ magazine. In the cover story, he talks about people being there for him, making the right choices, his family and friends being very supportive, being compared to MJ, hating celebrity status and much more. Below are some excerpts:
On people being there for him: “The people who are there for me have always been there for me.”
On being the best kid in his neighborhood and not wanting the attention: ”I was the best kid in my neighborhood at a young age,” he says. “My whole life. I was always the one everyone was talking about. I’ve never really wanted the attention, but it has always been there.”
On the Jordan comparison: ”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 inner circle and they telling him the truth: “There’s seven of us,” he says of himself and his oldest friends, plus his brothers and his mom. That’s it. “Longest I’ve known one of my friends is third grade. Most recent, seven years. They tell me the truth. They’re not yes-men.”
On being treated like a star, hating celebrity status and that life just not him: “Chicago isn’t used to stardom. Back when Michael was here, everyone was used to actors and singers and people being at the games. But there’s been a drought since then, and even celebrities, they’ll stop here to film a movie and then pop right back out. They don’t know how to act toward celebrity. So I always have someone with me. I can have a hat on, glasses on, whatever. People still notice me. If I go outside without a hat on, I feel like I’m naked.” Rose can have the entire world, as long as he doesn’t leave his home. “This life doesn’t fit my personality.
On making smart decisions and his family & friends are in his corner for the right reasons: ”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.”
Read the entire interview over at GQ.
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