point of no re­turn

Rose shows why Knicks can’t com­mit to him long-term

New York Post - - TV WEDNESDAY - By FRED KER­BER fred.ker­ber@ny­post.com

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.”

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