PHILADELPHIA — Derrick Rose said his focus is on playing basketball, and that he’s in a much better place mentally than he was two days ago.
Rose left the Knicks without telling them Monday to fly to Chicago for a “family issue.” But he went through shoot around on Wednesday morning and scored 25 points in a 98-97 loss to the Sixers on Wednesday night.
“He seems pretty good,” Hornacek said. “He’s maybe a little more quiet than normal.”
Rose was fined by the Knicks but he wasn’t suspended for taking off without contacting the team.
He missed Monday’s loss to the Pelicans because he said he flew home and “needed to be around my mom.” Rose said he had never “felt like that emotionally,” but he feels fine and doesn’t believe it will be an issue again.
“That is one of the reasons I came back,” Rose said. “If I felt like I needed a little bit more time I would have talked to the front office. But I feel like everything is all right.
“If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be playing. Like I said I just want to be with my teammates.”
Rose returned to the Knicks Tuesday. He met with team president Phil Jackson and general manager Steve Mills privately, and then addressed the team. He said he apologized to his teammates and they’re all on the same page now.
“They’re been giving me my space,” Rose said. “Like anyone that’s coming back you just don’t want to feel hounded, They’re just giving me my space. They know I’m all right. I’m a professional. I’ve been in this before. “
Rose said if any further episodes arise he wouldn’t hesitate to contact the Knicks if he needed time off.
“The relationship I’m building with Phil and Steve I wouldn’t mind asking if I needed it,” Rose said. “But I feel fine. What happened a couple of days ago, that’s in the past.”
Hornacek added, “We hope the case if there’s something serious with your family and you got to go, just make sure you call us and let us know. I think he understands that now. It wasn’t handled great by him. He should just let us know so I don’t think it will happen again.”