Rose was red. As in red-hot. Raptors veteran swingman Jalen Rose is so sick of losing, sometimes he looks as if he's going to explode.
He was the leading scorer in the club's intrasquad game on Saturday at Brock University in St. Catharines, if that means anything. But Rose was on the weakest of the split squads, and he didn't like it one bit. You could see it in his glaring, glowering eyes.
"I'm going to tell you what I miss," said the 31-year-old Rose with simmering intensity. "I miss looking at the schedule and saying, 'Out of these nine games, fellas, we need to win seven,' and realistically, having an opportunity to circle teams that we should flat out beat. And if we don't beat them, it's a disappointment.
"That's what we should be doing, instead of being a non-playoff team looking up at everyone else."
Heading into his 11th NBA season, Jalen Rose has a chip on his shoulder. He admits it, openly and freely.
He wants to play in the all-star game. And he wants to play for an NBA team that wins far more games than it loses.
It's not that he thinks he necessarily has anything to prove. But even though he realizes he's far closer to the end of his career than he is to the beginning, it bothers him greatly that some pundits have written him off as washed up.
"I have a newfound motivation not only as a leader but as a winner, to recapture some of the things I lost playing all last season with a broken (left) hand," Rose said. "I spent last season in a Michael Jackson glove and a cast. It's healed now, but people still think I'm on the downslide.
"This is a 'what have you done for me lately' league, and I like picking up publications and seeing that Jalen Rose is not mentioned as one of the elite players around, something he was in Indiana and he was in Chicago. They don't care about you playing with a broken hand while you were in Toronto. So that's what is driving me. That's just the approach I've taken. I'm as excited about this season as I ever have been."
Not that he's looking at the Raptors' situation through Rose-coloured glasses. He knows the club has a lot of work to do as training camp moves to Toronto with a practice this morning.
"Being without an everyday big man can be crippling, but I'm not saying it will be," Rose said. "We don't have someone we can throw the ball to down low every time for a post-up basket. But our perimeter men, like myself, will have to create mismatches and do some posting up ourselves.
"We'll have to run an invert offence. I can post up (point guards, shooting guards and small forwards). Vince Carter can do it. And Lamond Murray can do some of that, too. It puts more pressure on us, but it comes with the territory."
Despite his ambitious goals for the future, Rose has reached the stage of his career where he has begun to think about his legacy. Twenty years from now, what does Rose want a father to tell a son who asks what kind of player Jalen Rose was?
"Well, the first thing that father is going to say is Jalen Rose played with the Michigan Fab Five," Rose said with a laugh, recalling his college days. "You know, I could win four or five NBA titles, but that (Michigan) is infamy. That's going to live, and I'm proud of it.
"But the second thing is, I want to be known as one of the most versatile players ever to play. Every team I've played on, I led in assists. Three of the four teams I've played on, I led in scoring. I can do a lot of versatile things.
"I have a lot of good basketball left in me. But sometimes if you're Jalen Rose, you have to speak up for yourself because a lot of people forget about you."
Throughout his life, Jalen Rose has become accustomed to looking into the eyes of an opponent and seeing fear.
He longs for that opportunity again.