Derrick Rose blames former Knicks president Phil Jackson and his insistence on running the triangle for messing up his time in New York, relays Marc Berman of the New York Post. The paper published a segment from Rose’s new book, “I’ll Show You” in which he is highly critical of the way the organization was run during his lone season there in 2016/17.
Rose explains that he was excited for a fresh start after being traded to the Knicks in the summer of 2016. He thought teaming up with Carmelo Anthony and Joakim Noah gave the team a chance to be successful, but he quickly realized it was a bad situation.
“I played through it, 60-some games, but I could tell right away it wasn’t the season I was expecting,” Rose wrote. “Lot of different priorities. Melo’s there. You know how he plays. Can’t change that. That’s what I realized being there. And he’s a great dude; I loved being around Melo. He ain’t gonna rub you the wrong way. Great dude, great spirit, great person, great teammate. … I liked Phil, but, come on, man, you’re still running the triangle? He was still forcing them to run it. I’m a slasher, a driving point guard. The triangle is okay, but not for the personnel we had. Melo couldn’t play that way, didn’t want to.”
Rose adds that coach Jeff Hornacek seemed to understand that an up-tempo style was a better fit for his personnel, but he was reluctant to challenge the front office because he was new to the job and had just been fired by the Suns. He believes Hornacek got tired of having meetings about the style of play, so he just accepted what Jackson wanted.
Rose also addresses the incident in January of 2017 when he failed to show up for a game and didn’t notify anyone from the organization. He explains that he was considering retirement and needed to go home to talk to his family.
“I had decided I was done playing,” Rose wrote. “I saw the same thing that was happening with the Bulls was going on with New York. I could tell that the season wasn’t going to be the season everyone thought, that I thought. I didn’t know if I wanted to hoop anymore. Especially when it started to feel like a business. Of course, you know it’s a business. They always say that. But you know it’s also hoopin’. But it had started to feel like all business, no joy. That’s when I wanted out. I wasn’t having fun.”
Rose admits that he handled the situation poorly and it probably cost him the trust of the organization. New York drafted point guard Frank Ntilikina after the season, and Rose headed to Cleveland in free agency.
“I loved New York,” Rose concluded. “We were losing but I felt I was playing great. I felt like they still could have built something — or attempted to. They got rid of me but I definitely wanted to stay there. It was a new way of basketball life for me, to not be sure where I was going to play next. I knew I’d be playing, so I just focused on working out, keep up with rehab, get in shape, and have to show you again.”