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Derrick Rose says he didn’t want to answer Knicks’ calls because he needed ‘space’

Long-time Knicks writer Frank Isola believes the blame all falls on Phil Jackson for creating a culture that allowed Derrick Rose to go AWOL for the Knicks game vs. the Pelicans.

Derrick Rose explained going AWOL for the Knicks’ game against the Pelicans – to a degree.

Daniel Popper of the New York Daily News:

Al Iannazzone of Newsday:

Rose told reporters he was dealing with a family issue involving his mother, flew home to Chicago yesterday and returned to New York today. These personal matters happen occasionally, and sometimes players miss games as a result.

What separated Rose’s situation: His refusal to communicate with his team, which was left in the dark about his whereabouts.

I don’t know what Rose was going through – he said it was unlike anything he’d experienced – so I obviously don’t know how I would’ve reacted in the same situation. I’d like to believe I would’ve taken a minute during the multi-hour journey to inform my boss of my absence, but I can’t know that. Handling emotional situations can be difficult.

This was seemingly an isolated incident, and Rose can move on with a fine. Even if Rose just reacts poorly to family emergencies, it’s not as if those are a reoccurring event.

But this has shined a spotlight on Rose, who’s left to handle other issues now known to swirl around him. Can he get along with Jeff Hornacek? Can he help the Knicks escape their tailspin? Can he manage while separated from his son?