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D-Rose sends special greeting to Pacquiao (VIDEO)


PhilBoxing.com




AUBURN HILLS, Michigan -- The Detroit Pistons training facility, which sits next door to the team's now-closed former home, The Palace, is 251 miles away my humble abode in Chicago.

But I took the long drive yesterday anyway, plowing through interstates 69, 75, 90 and 94 for five hours and 17 minutes.

I did not accomplish the chore to test my waning endurance. I did it to pen a column here and at Spin.ph, my other literary home. The center of attention in both endeavors is my good friend Derrick Rose.

I've known Rose since he first entered the NBA in 2008. Back then, I was on my seventh year covering the Chicago Bulls as a credentialed NBA writer.

Sometime in 2014, when the Bulls were on a playoffs game versus the Bucks at the now-defunct Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Rose summoned me to his locker room stall wondering if I could get him signed gloves from Manny Pacquiao.

A few months later, I delivered to Rose a pair of bright red boxing trunks signed by the Pambansang Kamao. And two nights before he faced Mayweather in the May 2015 blockbuster, I delivered to Pacquiao an autographed Derrick Rose jersey at the champion's Delano Hotel suite in Las Vegas.



Their friendship has been cemented. And the rest is history.

Since being traded by the Bulls in 2016, Rose has played in New York, Cleveland and Minnesota. This season, he will be a Detroit Piston, inked to a two-year $15 million.

I saw Derrick twice last season, once at the Target Center in Minneapolis and once at the United Center in Chicago. Having said that, it was exciting to see him again yesterday in Michigan where we caught up and discussed several topics.

Of course, we talked about his other passion, boxing. A conversation inevitably steered us to Senator Pacquiao, who impressed Rose with his twin victories over Andre Broner and Keith Thurman this year.

"I saw (Errol) Spence call out Manny. Are they fighting,? Rose asked.

I told him that it's unlikely. At this stage in his legendary Hall-of-Fame career, Manny has earned the right to choose his opponents and Spence isn't on the radar. The PacMan, who isn't afraid of anyone, would rather avenge his loss to Mayweather.

Spence and Terence Crawford are great fighters in the 147-pound class but neither name possesses the pay-per-view pull of the undefeated, brashy Money Mayweather.

Before being pulled to fulfill his other media and marketing obligations, D-Rose, the 2011 NBA MVP and the youngest to ever win the award, sent a video message to the Senator which included an apology for not being able to attend Pacquiao's recent bouts owing to a very tight work and family schedule.

No apologies needed.

Senator Manny himself juggles so many responsibilities as a family man, lawmaker, fighter, businessman and philanthropist. He completely understands where Rose is coming from.

Tell you what, though. If Pacquiao-Mayweather 2 happens, D-Rose will find the time to spend a magical night of boxing at ringside.

Meanwhile, Rose is 100 percent focused on the Pistons.

"I'm ready to win a championship," he told reporters gathered at Media Day.

Somewhere out there, Manny Pacquiao is cheering for Derrick Rose.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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