GREENBURGH, N.Y. — The Knicks didn’t anticipate that Derrick Rose would be in Los Angeles as long as he’s been for his sexual assault civil trial and are considering sending an assistant coach there to work with him.
Rose left the team the morning of Oct. 5 and has missed five practices and two preseason games. Coach Jeff Hornacek said he hasn’t added that much to the offense, but if the trial continues into next week, a member of his staff could meet Rose in Los Angeles.
“Our hope was that he would be done on Monday or Tuesday and maybe be back,” Hornacek said after practice Thursday. “It is what it is. He’s got to deal with that. We’ve got to continue to work with our other players, get them to be better.”
Hornacek said he’s not worried about Rose staying in shape. He has been working out with his trainer and had said that if he was away from the team, he would do “penitentiary workouts” of push-ups and sit-ups.
Hornacek also said Rose has watched the tape of the two games he’s missed. The Knicks have three preseason games remaining, starting with Saturday against Boston at the Garden. But Hornacek said the Knicks don’t have an indication when Rose will return.
“We don’t know right now,” Hornacek said. “That’s why we’re kind of trying to hold off. We might get the word he’ll be back Friday night. If we get a word that it’s definitely going to be next week, then we’ll look to send someone out there.”
Before training camp opened, Knicks president Phil Jackson said he didn’t “anticipate” the case affecting Rose in training camp or games.
Hornacek said he and Knicks officials have checked with Rose to see how he’s doing and that he seems fine.
“I’m just talking to him in general terms of how he’s doing,” Hornacek said. “I’m not giving him any advice on that stuff. We’re just kind of talking about our team and maybe what happened in the game. Basically, just how’s it going? And seeing if he’s staying in bright spirits. He seems OK with that. He tells me he’s waiting to get back here and he wants to get with the guys. So it’s just kind of friendly talk.
“Obviously, when you’re going in a trial like that, he’s got other worries. But basketball-wise, he seems to be fine.”
It hasn’t been the ideal situation for the Knicks without their new point guard, who is playing in a new system for the team’s new coach.
The Knicks also have been without starting center Joakim Noah, who missed practice Thursday with a sprained right ankle. Noah missed more than a week with a hamstring injury, but Hornacek thinks he’ll be able to play Saturday.
“I think it makes it harder ,” Carmelo Anthony said. “But at the same time for him, it should excite him to see kind of what we’re doing without those two guys so far. So I’m pretty sure if I was him, I’d be calling Derrick and telling him, ‘Hurry up. Figure it out and hurry up back.’ Just because the way the team is starting to jell together and come together, the camaraderie we’re starting to create with one another, we don’t want him missing out on that.”