Derrick Rose signing with the Memphis Grizzlies this summer signaled a homecoming for the former first-overall pick out of the University of Memphis. Just as Memphis fans are, Rose seems motivated and for the new opportunity in his old stomping grounds, but is already setting expectations for the upcoming season.
While it's no secret that the 34-year-old was brought to Memphis to be a veteran leader, being a babysitter for Ja Morant isn't an aspect of his new role.
"I'm not here to babysit, I'm not here to follow you around, I'm not here to cheerlead," Rose said of Morant during Grizzlies media day on Monday.
"I'm here to push you. In the league, there are very few opportunities where players get a chance to play with somebody that has a similar style of play. I'm very fortunate to be in a situation where a lot of people look at his game and they kind of compare our games together. But he's on a whole other level."
While Rose's babysit comment will earn a knee-jerk reaction from some, Rose's comment and explanation is honest and admirable. Nobody on the Memphis roster should have to hold hands with Morant and make sure he's making the right decisions, like not jumping on Instagram live and flashing a gun like he did not once, but twice last season.
Rose's new role as a mentor for Morant will begin a bit sooner than some may have expected.
While the point guard has been handed a 25-game suspension to begin the upcoming season, he has been permitted to both practice and travel with the team.
Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins said Morant wouldn't be working with the starters during training camp, and instead have a separate plan to follow where the team will "push him" and "challenge him even more."