D-Rose played 35 efficient games as a role player for the Knicks, registering 14.9 points and 4.2 assists per outing. Though injuries continue to hinder him, Rose picked up where he left off and remained a vital team member to this day.
Wrong place at the wrong time
It can be recalled that this wasn't the first time Rose played for the Knicks. In 2016, "Windy City Assassin" left his beloved Chicago Bulls for the formerly Carmelo Anthony-led New York. Rose started and played 64 games in his debut season with the Knicks, registering an impressive 18 points per game. However, the Melo-D-Rose tandem terribly failed to make the playoffs and only finished with an underwhelming 32-50 record.
In the summer of 2019, Rose decided to come clean about his maiden campaign with the Knicks in the excerpt of his book, "I'll Show You," which was co-authored by renowned Chicago reporter Sam Smith.
According to D-Rose, he knew "right away" that things would not play out in line with his expectation as the Knicks had a "lot of different priorities," primarily Carmelo Anthony.
Rose reckoned that he thinks Melo was a great person, but as a player, he lacked the winning mentality and versatility of a leader.
"I played through it, 60-some games, but I could tell right away it wasn't the season I was expecting. Lot of different priorities. Melo's there. You know how he plays. Can't change that. That's what I realized being there… He's a great dude; I loved being around Melo. He ain't gonna rub you the wrong way. Great dude, great spirit, great person, great teammate,"
Derrick Rose, The New York Post
Phil's triangle didn't help at all
Apart from Anthony's unbridled score-first mentality, Rose also appointed Phil Jackson's famed triangle offense as one of the culprits of the Knicks' downfall at the time. Rose recounted that Jackson wasn't imposing anything at first, but little by little, "it converted all the way to the triangle."
"As for me, I liked Phil, but, come on, man, you're still running the triangle?," Rose questioned. "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."
The year 2016 was the first time Rose left the Bulls, so we understand that his hopes of becoming a part of a contending team were high. In retrospect, it's hard to argue that had the Knicks had a different go-to guy back then and had Phil left the team due to conflict with the management before Rose arrived, things would've played out differently.