Two days after missing the New York Knicks' game against the New Orleans Pelicans for what he termed a "family issue," point guard Derrick Rose will be in the starting lineup tonight against the Philadelphia 76ers.
After participating in the Knicks' shootaround on Monday morning, Rose, who is averaging 17.3 points and 4.5 assists, did not show up for the game, forcing Brandon Jennings into the starting lineup. According to several reports, the Knicks did not know of Rose's whereabouts. Rose returned to the team's practice facility yesterday and accompanied the Knicks to Philadelphia for tonight's game.
According to Rose, he went home to Chicago because he "needed to be around my mom."
At shootaround Wednesday morning in Philadelphia, Rose said that following his trip he's in a better frame of mind, as ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk writes:
Rose said he is mentally ready to play again after explaining he left the team for a "family issue" to be with his mother in Chicago and that he had never "felt like that emotionally."
"Of course, that is one of the reasons I came back," Rose said at the team's shootaround in Philadelphia on Wednesday morning. "I felt like if I needed a little more time I would have talked to the front office. I feel like everything is alright.
"The relationship I am building with Phil (Jackson) and Steve (Mills), I wouldn't mind asking if I needed it," Rose added of Knicks management. "Like I said, I feel fine. What happened a couple of days ago, that's in the past."
Carmelo Anthony said he hasn't ever experienced what he and the Knicks went through on Monday night when they didn't know where Rose was before and during their blowout loss to the Pelicans.
Anthony, who was ejected during that game for arguing with officials, said he wanted to "stay out of" commenting on Rose's situation with his family but added it was "worrisome for everybody" not knowing where Rose was.
The reeling Knicks (17-21) are in dire need of a win. They've dropped eight-of-their-last-nine games and Anthony sounded the alarm on the season potentially spiraling even further.
"I think now is just a time that everybody can just exhale a little bit and kind of relax," Anthony said of the Knicks entering this divisional game. "It was a little tense around here the last couple of days. You can't play basketball like that. We all need to just relax and focus on tonight and put everything else behind us.
"I've seen it for the past couple of years," Anthony later added of his concern for where the sinking Knicks can go if things don't turn soon. "But I still don't want to say (I'm) frustrated. It's not worrisome. I've seen it before. I've seen this happen before. I've seen it go downhill quickly. I don't think this is the situation. But everybody has to start playing better basketball. We have to turn this thing around quickly."