Rose plays the game

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:31 AM ET

A new Jalen Rose has emerged, and he doesn't resemble Ron Artest.

The Raptors' highest-paid player is not about to follow in the footsteps of the unpredictable Indiana Pacers defensive stalwart and demand a trade.

In fact, Rose is not even complaining much about his limited role with the Raptors, something he did regularly when he was removed from the starting lineup last season. Every day, reporters crowd around Rose waiting for him to snap and every day, the sharp and calculated veteran doesn't bite.

"I'm just playing my part," Rose said yesterday. "Last game (a road win over the Charlotte Hornets), I didn't play in the second half, I was still rooting for the guys, I was still happy we won."

While Rose gives the 'no comment' response when he is asked if he wants out or if he sees the writing on the wall, it's safe to say a 32-year-old with no championship rings would rather be elsewhere.

And assuming that's true, it does makes sense for Rose to keep his mouth shut.

"We kind of went through that, didn't we?" general manager Rob Babcock said, referring to Vince Carter when asked about the Ron Artest story. "It's a difficult situation. When a player comes out and says something like that, it puts you in a bind. It immediately lowers his value and teams think they've got to trade him and they come at you with lowball offers.

"It's a difficult situation."

Nobody is going to want a diminishing scorer with a questionable attitude, not to mention a rich contract. But a decent guy with a resume filled with clutch shots, even if he may have lost a step, might be tempting for a championship contender.

Rose isn't a marquee player like Carter, but he has stuck around the NBA for 12 seasons for a reason. One theory is that Babcock has told Rose he'll try to trade him and the best way to make that happen is by not creating negative headline.

"Jalen has been good, he has been very professional," Babcock said. "He's helping the young guys. I think he hasn't played as well as he's capable, but he'll get that going. I think he can have a role on this team, absolutely."

In the meantime, Rose will continue to be play the role of team guy, no matter if he plays or not.

"I get my salvation in practice," he said. "I guess that's been my forum, my stage. So I perform in practice. Practice is my forum, ask these guys what I do in practice.

"I'm here to contribute and do what I'm asked to do. We're dedicated to a youth movement and I guess it remains to be seen where I stand in that process. Obviously, our overall record hasn't been too positive, but a lot of indications show that the progress that is being made is being appreciated."

He can only hope people remember his personal good times.

"You're judged by what happens from the beginning to the end," Rose said. "That's why I'm glad I have longevity."


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