point of no return
Rose shows why Knicks can’t commit to him long-term
Derrick Rose says he disappeared from the Knicks on Monday because he had a “family issue’’ in Chicago that he needed to deal with. However, by never telling the team he was going to miss its game, Rose proved how untrustworthy and unprofessional he is, Mike Vaccaro writes.
Even E.T. tried to phone. When the Derrick Rose affair was put to rest Tuesday, the end result for all concerned was that so much concern, speculation and heartburn could have been avoided had the point guard simply called Knicks officials to notify them he was flying to Chicago to attend to a “really personal” family matter.
“It was a family issue. It had nothing to do with the team or basketball. That’s the first time I ever felt like that emotionally and I had to be with my family,” Rose said Tuesday at the team’s practice facility.
“I just had to get to my family. I talked to [the Knicks] afterwards. They understood right away after I explained myself to them.
“Things happen. That’s not the person I am. I explained to my teammates I didn’t want any distractions to the team … and I apologized to them earlier, just letting them know it will never happen again.”
The explaining came after Rose went home to Chicago after Monday’s shootaround and before an eighth loss in nine games, 110-96, to the Pelicans at the Garden. Why didn’t he just call?
“I didn’t want to take any calls at the time,” Rose said. “I needed that space to myself and I needed to be around my mom.”
Rose acknowledged his mistake and stressed he should have called, but maintained it was a family-first situation. Rose said he contacted general manger Steve Mills during Monday’s game.
“When you’re in the moment, the first thing I thought of was just getting out there,” Rose said. “I didn’t really think about nothing else.”
The Knicks were forced to scramble Monday night. Coach Jeff Hornacek did not get details until after the game. Rose returned Tuesday morning, met with team president Phil Jackson, Mills and the team.
Rose was fined an undisclosed amount, but not suspended. Hornacek said if he determines Rose is mentally ready, he will start Wednesday in Philadelphia. Hornacek seemed fine with the explanation.
“If it was some other reason, maybe different [but] your family is first,” Hornacek said. “When something major comes up that you have to take care of, you handle it the correct way in terms of contacting us and letting us know. If a player has that issue and he calls us and says, ‘ Hey I’ve got a family [matter], I got to go,’ there’s no way we’re not letting him go.”
Rose was asked if he could explain the issue that forced him to leave the team and head home. Claiming the matter is “resolved,” he did not elaborate.
“I really can’t get into details. It’s really personal,” Rose said. “There’s too much on my plate right now. “
Joakim Noah was one teammate who heard from Rose on Monday. Others expressed concern. Social media exploded with details of a bad relationship with Hornacek. Reports Tuesday morning claimed he was homesick and missed his son. Both Rose and Hornacek strongly denied any rift.
“That’s crazy,” Rose said. “I never had a problem with a coach in my life. … So I put that on myself with not telling the Knicks. It was just bad timing but I’m not perfect, far from it. The front office and my teammates knew where I was coming from when I told them what happened.”
Hornacek also waved off the bad-relationship insinuation.
“Somebody asked me … if it had something to do with the Milwaukee game,” Hornacek said, referring to benching Rose in the fourth quarter. “No, there was nothing, he was happy we won. … When I talked to him this morning, he said, ‘Coach, it has nothing to do with basketball, it’s all about what I had to do with my family.’ ”
So all seems well. Rose indicated he hopes to stay in New York.
“I want to be here. That shouldn’t even be a question,” Rose said. “My feelings of just playing in New York, playing in front of a crowd that we play in front of … on one of the biggest stages in the world if not the biggest stage and just being here in the city, it motivates you.”