(CBS) Renowned trainer Tim Grover, who has worked with the likes of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, holds out hope that Bulls point guard Derrick Rose can return to form as one of the NBA's top point guards -- if he gets the proper training direction.
In Grover's mind, the 27-year-old Rose still has the horizontal speed to be one of the NBA's most dangerous off-the-bounce players, even after three majors knee surgeries. The key is getting his vertical explosiveness back, which Grover believes contains both a physical and mental element for Rose to overcome with unique training plan suited to him.
"Derrick never used to get his shot blocked when he used to go into the lane -- never," Grover said in an interview on 670 The Score on Friday. "Now you see quite a bit of it. You know, he has his speed and change of direction and so forth, but the verticality still isn't where it should be.
"Now a lot of this stuff, I'm not going to blame Derrick, because he's only doing what he's been told to do. Now if he's not doing what he's told to do, then the onus is on him. But if he's being told information that isn't working well for him -- now what I say about Derrick, because of the way he moves and how explosive he used to be and still is, you can't use a template for him for a workout. You have to design it from the ground up, totally from, look at his body and say, 'Hey, this workout is designed for Derrick Rose ... It's not designed for another Bulls player. This workout is for you.'
"And once he can see those physical changes happen and he can start doing the things that he can do, then the mental aspect will slowly start to come."
Regarding the maintenance of Rose's body, the Bulls recently set off on a different path, dismissing director of sports performance Jen Swanson, a Rose confidante who had worked closely with him after he first tore his left ACL in April 2012. Swanson was an influential voice behind the scenes regarding Rose's health.
Grover recalled a conversation he had with Rose back in summer 2011, when during the NBA lockout, he was in the Philippines to play in a charity basketball game on a trip that also included Bryant. Grover referenced how Rose's lower body looked like it was wrapped up like a "mummy," which Grover believed could eventually lead to injury.
"Derrick did a charity game in the Philippines, and I went down there with Kobe during that time," Grover said. "I had a little conversation with Derrick, and I said, 'Derrick, listen, you've got your ankles wrapped up, you've got your knees wrapped up, you've got all this compression stuff.' I said, 'You're putting too much pressure on certain joints because they're not being allowed to move.' And I know I said, 'Listen, you're an athlete and I've never seen anybody that explosive to be able to move that quickly.' But I said, 'The joints have to be free in order to absorb all that force.'
"I had this conversation with him way before the injury part.
"We've never really been able to connect, and I honestly feel even at this stage in his career that there's a lot of stuff that can be done to help him get back not only from a physical standpoint but also from a mental standpoint."
Rose averaged 16.4 points on 42.7 percent shooting in 2015-'16, playing in 66 of his team's 82 games. His player efficiency rating ranked 44th among point guards in the league. Rose is entering the final season of his contract with the Bulls and is set to become a free agent in summer 2017.
Listen to Grover's full interview below. He also tells some Jordan stories.
Tim Grover on the Spiegel and Goff Show
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