GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Derrick Rose returned to the Knicks on Tuesday after a confusing day away from the team that left his teammates and club executives concerned about his well-being. It turned out that Rose had traveled to Chicago, his hometown, to be with his mother without initially letting anyone on the Knicks know.
And in the process, he missed the Knicks' game against the Pelicans at Madison Square Garden, where they were run off the floor by New Orleans.
On Tuesday, Rose practiced with the Knicks then spoke to reporters. The team fined him an undisclosed amount but did not suspend him, and he will be back in uniform tonight when the Knicks play the 76ers in Philadelphia. He could start, coach Jeff Hornacek said. Still, how Monday's incident will affect his status on the team in the weeks and months ahead remains to be seen.
In his comments to reporters, Rose termed his absence a family issue that had nothing to do with the Knicks.
"This was the first time that I felt like that emotionally and I had to be with my family," he said.
Rose took part in the team's pregame shootaround Monday but was nowhere to be found as game time approached. The Knicks announced he was not with the club but did not say why. At that point, the Knicks did not have an explanation.
During the game, Rose finally connected with the organization, talking to Knicks general manager Steve Mills by telephone then exchanging text messages with Hornacek after the game. On Tuesday, Hornacek spoke to reporters after Rose did and tried to offer some sympathy.
When it comes to family matters, Hornacek said, "are you thinking about anything else at that point? Your concern is for your family. He went back. Yeah, we would have loved for him to at least call and tell us that. But it is what it is."
Rose addressed his teammates and spoke with Phil Jackson, the team's president. Jackson did not speak with reporters, nor did he do so after Monday night's game, when it was still unclear, at least to the public, where Rose was.
Although he acknowledged that he could have acted more thoughtfully Monday when he left for Chicago, and admitted, too, that he declined to answer the first phone calls from the Knicks, he insisted that he was preoccupied solely with family issues.
"Like I said, basketball didn't have anything to do with this,'' he said.
Game Highlights: James Harden had 40 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists for a triple double, and the host Rockets outlasted the Hornets 121-114 for their ninth straight win. … John Wall scored 26, including the winner with 5.9 seconds left, as the host Wizards rallied to beat the shorthanded Bulls 101-99. … DeMar DeRozan scored a season-high 41, and the host Raptors defeated the Celtics 114-106. … Michael Beasley scored 28 off the bench to lead the visiting Bucks past the Spurs 109-107.
Around the League: Bulls guard Rajon Rondo said he was told by a member of the coaching staff that coach Fred Hoiberg was "saving me from myself" by benching the four-time All-Star for the past five games. Rondo, who hadn't played since Dec. 30, returned to action against the Wizards. "I thought it was (expletive)," Rondo said. "'Save me from myself?' I never heard that before in my life. In this game, you grind through it. It's a game of mistakes. You play through it."