Derrick Rose Opens Up on Phil Jackson, Knicks: I Wasn't Good at 'Bulls--tting'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistSeptember 8, 2019

DENVER, CO - MARCH 12: Derrick Rose #25 of the Minnesota Timberwolves looks on during the game against the Denver Nuggets on March 12, 2019 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Derrick Rose opened up about his time with the New York Knicks in his new book, expressing frustration with Phil Jackson's meddling in their offensive system and opening up on his brief departure from the team in January 2016, during which he contemplated retirement.

In an excerpt of I'll Show You published in the New York Post, Rose wrote Jackson was "forcing" the Knicks to run the triangle despite the offense not fitting the team's personnel:  

"I don't say much, but Phil could tell. Phil was telling me to be patient. He said I had a lot going on with the [sexual assault] trial and all. He was honest with me. Everything he talked to me about, he was honest, I'll say that.

"Our relationship was a little weird, though. He was cool the whole time I was there, but he wanted that $60 million he was owed by the Knicks.

"As for me, 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."

Jackson ran the triangle offense throughout his coaching career, leading the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers to 11 championships. However, the offense has become antiquated in the modern game and fit poorly on a roster spearheaded by Carmelo Anthony, Joakim Noah and Rose. 

Rose wrote that Jackson would criticize the team if it deviated from the system, even after victories.

"There were times during a game where we would play free," Rose said. "And it didn't matter what we did. We'd end up coming back, and Phil would be like, 'What's that?' I remember one time we beat Boston and he told Hornacek he didn't like the way we finished that game. We ended up winning the game. Melo got kicked out the game or something like that, something crazy, but Phil didn't like the way we finished that game. It's like, 'Damn, in the league you're happy to get a win.'"

Rose said the situation in New York became so dire he felt the need to get away, so he left the team briefly in January 2016. He had decided he was retiring from basketball but was talked out of it by family. 

"That's when I realized it was a game within the game. I wasn't good at playing the game, at bulls--tting. Like I said, with me growing up where and how I did and seeing everything, I tried to avoid becoming someone who did that. But the profession I was now in kind of demands it," Rose wrote.

The Knicks parted ways with Jackson amid the team president's falling out with Anthony and rising star Kristaps Porzingis. His run with the organization has largely been deemed a failure, and the Knicks remain in a rebuilding stage in part because of decisions Jackson made.

Rose left the Knicks for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017, struggling again before slowly finding his way back into form last season with the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

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