Derrick Rose explains his unexcused absence from the Knicks: 'Things happen'

Ball Don't Lie

After an unscheduled, unexplained and unsettling no-show for Monday’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans, we now know where exactly Derrick Rose is. He’s back in New York, with the New York Knicks:

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To review:

  • Rose was reportedly in New York on Monday morning to attend the Knicks’ shootaround in Westchester;

  • He missed the Knicks’ embarrassing blowout loss to the Pelicans after returning “to his hometown of Chicago” without team permission to deal with “a family situation,” according to ESPN;

  • He was unable to be reached by Knicks personnel by phone in the hours leading up to the game, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical;

  • And he returned to the team on Tuesday morning, where he was welcomed back into the fold after a reprimand:


After the Knicks’ Tuesday practice, Rose addressed the media in a session aimed at shedding some light on uncertainty surrounding what exactly led Rose to head back to Chicago:







Rose’s need to get back to his family, understandable though it might be, might not engender much sympathy among those wondering why he couldn’t take a few moments to communicate what was going on, especially with your team in the midst of an eight-losses-in-nine-games slide and looking flat-out woeful on both ends of the court:


Multiple sources have reported that Rose has grown increasingly frustrated in recent weeks with his role on the Knicks. That frustration reportedly reached a head after coach Jeff Hornacek placed Rose on the bench during the fourth quarters of a win over the Milwaukee Bucks and a loss to the Indiana Pacers, with Hornacek choosing to ride third-string point guard Ron Baker, an undrafted free agent out of Wichita State, rather than the former NBA Most Valuable Player. For what it’s worth, both Hornacek and Rose have denied any such rift exists.

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Rose’s absence reportedly caught Knicks staffers and players by surprise. Reserve point guard Brandon Jennings told reporters Monday night that he’d learned he’d be starting in Rose’s place only 40 minutes before tipoff.

“We haven’t heard anything. I don’t know anything,” point guard Brandon Jennings, who started and scored a team-high 20 points in Rose’s place, told reporters after the game. “I found out 40 minutes before the game that I was going to start, so I just don’t know anything […] Definitely concerned. Definitely a situation I’ve never been in. I just hope everything’s all right. You know, he’s a big part of this team, the starting point guard, so I just hope everything’s all right. You know, I never — that’s kind of … just a little different.”

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Before the end of the night, Rose’s longtime teammate and friend Joakim Noah confirmed that he’d spoken to Rose after the game, and that he was “OK.”

“I mean, I don’t really want to talk too much about it, because I don’t know what the situation is,” the Knicks center told reporters after the game. “You know, um, you know, obviously, Derrick’s one of our better players. And when he’s not here, it’s tough. But I’m just happy that everything’s OK with him.”

Whether Rose’s return marks the end of this exceedingly weird episode, or sets the stage for another development in the ongoing confusion and dysfunction that always seems to surround the Knicks, remains to be seen. The team will take on Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday. Rose is expected to be in uniform and — if he’s in the right mental state, according to Hornacek — to start the game at point guard.


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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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