Boy did that happen fast! Things were going well for the good ship New York Knickerbockers out of the gates this season, and now all of a sudden it seems like they’ve struck an iceberg!
Not that anyone was printing up NBA Finals tickets with a Madison Square Garden logo on them, but the team was playing well together for first-year head coach, Jeff Hornacek. As of December 11, the Knicks were four games over .500 at 14-10. Remember, the franchise is coming off back to back years with records of 17-65 and 32-50, so this was a positive start. Kristaps Porzingis was continuing his ascent to one of the best young players in the league, AND most importantly, the Derrick Rose experiment looked like a success. Unfortunately, since then the team is just 3-11 and now it is dealing with a thorny Rose. When the Knicks suited up to play the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night, Rose was nowhere to be found. He not only did not contact the team to tell them he would not be participating in the evening’s festivities, but, he did not take their calls because he “needed space”. His teammates were completely in the dark about his absence too, some were even quoted as saying they were praying that he was okay. There is now word leaking out that during his 24 hour hiatus, Rose contemplated walking away from the game to get his head straight. When he surfaced a day later, here was his explanation: “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 (in Chicago).” Listen, it sounds like he’s having some real issues, not all of which are basketball related (although he has been benched in the 4th quarter of a couple games recently in favor of undrafted rookie Ron Baker), and that is acceptable and perfectly understandable. However, he should know by now that during the season, his team becomes a, de facto family as well, and not making them aware of his planned sabbatical is/was inexcusable! I have very few rules as the head coach of my eighth grade travel basketball team. The one that all of my players know is non-negotiable, is that if they cannot make it to a practice or game, they HAVE to call me. The penalty for not doing so is suspension for the first half of our next game. Anyone care to guess how long Rose is held out of Wednesday night’s game with the Sixers as punishment?
While there is no I in team, there is in iPhone, which Derrick Rose should have used to alert his employers that he was not reporting for duty Monday night.
And that is My 2 Sense for this week.