After failing to inform New York Knicks officials of his intentions to skip Monday night’s game at Madison Square Garden, Derrick Rose’s future with the franchise has become increasingly uncertain.
Knicks officials didn’t hear from Rose that he was OK until after an embarrassing loss to New Orleans, a confirmation that sources said began the next conversation within the organization: What do they do with Rose now?
In the aftermath of going AWOL at The Garden, Knicks officials need to further determine Rose’s passion to return to the team and continue playing.
Rose has put into peril his short-term role – with the possibility of a suspension, sources said – and the longer-term chances to land a lucrative contract extension with the Knicks in July, league sources told The Vertical.
Rose, the 2011 NBA Most Valuable Player and a three-time All-Star, has suffered through several serious injuries and has diminished as an elite point guard in the league. He’s had an up-and-down season for the Knicks, who have lost eight of nine games and dropped to 17-21.
New York had been undecided about how deep of a commitment it wanted to make to Rose in free agency, and his failure to attend the Knicks’ 110-96 loss to the Pelicans without informing team officials – regardless of the reason – left them livid and embarrassed on Monday night, sources said.
Knicks officials were unable to reach Rose by phone – nor get responses from his closest confidants – in the immediate hour and minutes before the opening tip.
Rose typically arrives at 5:30 p.m. for a 7:30 p.m. ET start, teammates say, and Rose hadn’t informed anyone within the Knicks that he might be late – never mind miss the game all together.
The Knicks declared him “not with the team” prior to tipoff but offered no detail.
Rose has been increasingly frustrated with how this Knicks season has unfolded, culminating with him privately fuming over his diminished late-game role in Friday night’s victory in Milwaukee, sources said. Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek played undrafted rookie Ron Baker over Rose in the fourth quarter.
Rose has been privately critical of Hornacek, but no one in the locker room – or management – has expressed any issues with how Hornacek has coached Rose, league sources said.
Rose, 28, has averaged 17.3 points, 4.5 assists and 3.9 rebounds in 33 games this season. The Knicks acquired Rose in an offseason trade with the Chicago Bulls, an immense investment for Knicks president Phil Jackson.
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