Derrick Rose left the Knicks on Monday, deciding not to show up for their game against the New Orleans Pelicans; no call, no text, no email, nothing, just vanished. After a couple hours of utter confusion, he contacted team officials letting them know he returned to Chicago and needed to be with his family. Tuesday, Rose reappeared at the Knicks practice facility, in uniform. During his presser, he said it was a “family issue,” but didn’t expound much further other than it involved his mother. Apparently, there’s something more going on with the Knicks point guard.
Rose, according to two independent sources who spoke to the Daily News on the condition of anonymity, was such an emotional wreck Monday afternoon that his only solution was to abruptly leave the Knicks to be with his mother and his son.
In fact, Rose’s state of mind was such that for a brief time he talked about walking away from basketball for an extended period of time to clear his mind. That seems hard to believe since Rose is only 28 years old and could land a lucrative free agent contract this summer, something he talked about two years ago.
But in trying — and failing – to explain why he never took the time to contact the Knicks on Monday, Rose hinted at his emotional state by saying “I didn’t want to take any calls at the time. I needed that space to myself and I needed to be around my mom.”
Sometimes it feels like everything is going wrong all at once and it can be overwhelming. This is the first time in Rose’s professional career he’s spent the season away from his son and family, after growing and playing in Chicago. Rose has had tension with coach Jeff Hornacek about his role, he’s been benched at the end of recent games, and the Knicks as a whole are struggling. And maybe he did have a family issue that was the final straw. But either way, the incident is a red mark as he plays for a new contract.
In his return, the Knicks handed Rose a fine but no suspension. He will play tonight against the Philadelphia 76ers, in fact, he’s right back as the starting point guard as they try for a much needed win. The one good thing that should come out of this is that hopefully the Knicks will be smart for once and not give him a big contract at the end of this season.