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Malik Rose starred at Overbrook High and Drexel University before winning two NBA Championship rings with the San Antonio Spurs. — Submitted Photo

That mark on Malik Rose’s arm from pinching himself is well earned. The National Basketball Association has hired Rose, a two-time NBA champion, and veteran NBA front-office member David Booth as vice presidents of basketball operations.

Rose, the pride and joy of Overbrook High School and Drexel University, still can’t believe his good fortune.

“I never dreamed of anything like this,” said Rose, who spent 13 seasons as a bruising forward in the NBA. “This is beyond anything that I could’ve imagined. I never dreamed of playing in the NBA or Drexel. I’m so grateful and thankful. The only thing I can say is thank God.”

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Rose and Booth began their New York City-based jobs on Monday and report to NBA president Byron Spruell. Among their job responsibilities will be discussing league programs, rules, competitive elements and new initiatives with NBA teams and players. Other job duties include broadening and growing a working relationship with NBA teams under the “respect for the game” rules announced in 2010 that offer players guidelines for permissible reactions to the referees. They will work on all game-focused topics with teams.

Rose has earned his new post. After starring at Overbrook and Drexel, he was drafted in the second round of the 1996 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets and was briefly a teammate of the late Kobe Bryant, who was selected 13th before being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The holder of a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems and a master’s degree in sports management, Rose averaged 6.2 points and 4.1 rebounds in 813 games while playing for the Hornets, San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder from 1996 to 2009. His two NBA championshps came with the Spurs in 1999 and 2003.

After his playing career ended, he joined the Madison Square Garden Network as a pregame analyst for his former Knicks team. He was also the color analyst for the NBA Development League team, the Austin Toros. That helped him land a job as a color commentator for the Philadelphia 76ers television broadcasts from 2011 to 2015. He also worked as an analyst for NBA TV.

On Aug.12, 2015, the Atlanta Hawks hired him a manager of basketball operations. On April 11, 2017, he was promoted to general manager of the Erie BayHawks, the Hawks’ affiliate in the NBA G League. Rose was subsequently named the G League’s Basketball Executive of the Year in his only season with the organization.

In 2018, he was hired as an assistant general manager within the Detroit Pistons.

“I’ve been extremely fortunate,” Rose said. “I’ve been enjoying it all but there’s a lot of work to do.”

Rose said that he will be in Orlando when the NBA sewason restarts.

“It’s going to be a new adventure for everyone,” Rose said. “It’s going to be a little crazy getting back into the flow of things after being off [because of COVID-19] but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Before his recent move, Booth was director of player personnel for the New Orleans Pelicans from 2014 to 2019. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he also served as the Pelicans’ director of scouting (2012-13) and as a regional scout (2009-12). He was a regional scout for the Memphis Grizzlies from 2005 to 2009).

Booth, who starred at DePaul University star, earned a bachelor’s degree in communications. He’s been an assistant coach for DePaul and Illinois Central Community College. From 1992-2005, he played professionally overseas.

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