- Seth Wenig/AP
Shortly before the New York Knicks’ tip-off against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night, it was announced that backup guard Brandon Jennings would start in place of Derrick Rose, who was not with the team.
Rose’s absence quickly became a mystery. Rose was not on the injury report or listed as away from the team for personal reasons.
Reports said the team and Rose’s confidants had not heard from him, and though he attended the team’s shootaround Monday morning, he simply did not show up for the game. Amid his absence, concern for his well-being began to rise, with no updates on where he was or why he missed the game.
After the game, however, the picture became slightly clearer.
Knicks center Joakim Noah, one of Rose’s close friends, said he talked to Rose after the game and that Rose was OK. He declined to elaborate, saying he didn’t know enough about the situation. Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said he expected Rose to be back with the team but declined further comment, saying he didn’t have enough information.
According to ESPN, Rose went missing before the game, and the Knicks grew concerned enough to send someone to Rose’s apartment to check on him. Rose reportedly told the Knicks later on that he went to Chicago, his hometown, to attend to a family matter. ESPN reports that Rose left the team without permission, which could be why the absence created such an air of mystery.
Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Rose had been upset with the team’s performance and his role. Wojnarowski added that Rose’s relationship with Hornacek had “frayed in recent weeks.” Rose recently sat during the fourth quarter of games while rookie point guard Ron Baker played.
Wojnarowski said the Knicks were “livid and embarrassed” by Rose’s mysterious absence and his failure to contact the team. He could be facing a suspension from the team when he returns.