SPORTS

ROSE HAS TOO MANY THORNS

As sources talk of depressed Derrick, it's clear this sad tale must come to end

NY Daily NewsFRANK ISOLA
Derrick Rose's convoluted alibi had more holes in it than any wall Odell Beckham Jr. damaged at Lambeau Field on Sunday.
The sooner Rose and the Knicks part ways the better for both sides because apparently neither is good for the other. The rebuilding Knicks don't and shouldn't have the time and patience for a veteran point guard who has such little regard for the organization that he goes AWOL and doesn't even bother to notify them that he's not coming to work.
And what does it say about the working environment at the Garden that Rose bolts town because he "needed that space to myself." Yes, Derrick Rose needed a safe space.
Rose's official explanation is that he had a family issue involving his mother. The situation so required his immediate attention that A.) Rose doesn't show up for work B.) doesn't contact the team and C.) couldn't be reached for hours.
That sounds bad, right? But if it's such a serious situation why did Rose even return to New York so quickly for Tuesday's noon practice. Is anyone buying this nonsense? And yet, the more Rose spoke on Tuesday the worse you felt for him because he sounded like a troubled young man crying for help and not just some petulant diva.
Perhaps the pressure of his pending free agency, the backto-back benchings in Milwaukee and Indiana last weekend plus being away from his family in Chicago for the first time in his career is taking a toll. Maybe he's depressed.
"It was a family issue," Rose would explain after turning up at work. "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, 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."
Publicly, the Knicks are buying Rose's story and supporting him, which is fine. But not suspending Rose for at least one game is pathetic and proves that the organization, under Phil Jackson's leadership, is a threering circus yet again. The struggling Knicks are so desperate for a win in Philadelphia tonight that they are sacrificing any principles-assuming they have any - for a short-term goal.
Only the Knicks can come out of this looking worse than Rose.
If the Knicks were smart - yes, I know I'm reaching here - they would already know that Rose is not their point guard for the future. Yes, he's been cordial with the media and up until Monday conducted himself like a professional. But unfortunately, his actions tell you that the Knicks would be crazy to invest in him long term.
The Knicks should be thinking about a trade and if that doesn't happen by late February, releasing Rose is an option. He's not the answer at point guard. He was always looked at as a short-term solution and he's proven to be just that.
He's not the right point guard for Kristaps Porzingis. He's not the right point guard for the Knicks or for New York. He told you that on Monday.
Sources tell News that Derrick Rose was an emotional wreck on Monday and that he has pondered stepping away from the game to clear his mind.
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