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Lawsuit makes Derrick Rose a question mark against Rockets

New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek and

New York Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek and New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose look on during practice at the tean's training facility on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016. Credit: Andrew Theodorakis

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Derrick Rose turns 28 years old Tuesday. Whether his birthday will be spent on the court with his teammates in Houston or in a courtroom with his attorneys in Los Angeles was not fully clear by the end of the team’s practice Monday.

The point guard’s civil sexual assault trial is scheduled to begin Tuesday in Los Angeles with jury selection, unless a settlement is reached first. The Knicks open their preseason schedule Tuesday night against the Rockets, and Rose was on the flight with the team to Houston on Monday afternoon.

Rose, a former league MVP whom the Knicks brought in to run their offense, said after practice that he believed that he would be playing against the Rockets, but he had yet to confer with his legal representation.

“As far as right now in my mind, I’m playing,” Rose said, “but I don’t know.”

Rose is being sued for $21.5 million by a 30-year-old college student who claims that he and two of his friends raped her in August 2013 while she was incapacitated after a night of drinking. Rose and the two friends say the sex was consensual.

Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek, who also is in his first year with the team, seemed fairly sure Monday that Rose will be on the court with the team Tuesday night.

“As far as I know, he’s going with us and playing the game,” Hornacek said. “Whatever happens after that, we’ll see. But for now, that’s the plan.”

The Knicks have said that they knew about the civil lawsuit when they traded for Rose in June.

On Saturday, Rose said this was the best training camp of his career and that he is eager to show what he can do with the Knicks’ new offense.

“It’s very exciting,” Rose said about the start of the preseason. “It starts now. All the training that you put in in the offseason. All the hard work. All the times you get up in the morning when you don’t want to. Just the grind of the offseason and working out. Now you get to put it to the test. My biggest adjustment is just letting it all come together. I don’t know when it’s going to all come together. All I can do is keep working on my game every day.”

The Knicks could be missing their starting center for the Houston game as Joakim Noah sat out practice Monday with a strained left hamstring. He said he will “feel it out” Tuesday and decide if he can play. If Noah can’t, Hornacek said he isn’t sure who will start in his place.

New York Sports