Derrick Rose spent one tumultuous season with the Knicks after being traded to New York before the 2016-17 season, performing relatively well when on the court while literally going AWOL off the court.
In a new book, the 30-year-old Rose -- now with the Pistons -- writes about his Knicks tenure, including thoughts on Phil Jackson, Carmelo Anthony, and Steve Mills.
"With the basketball, the way Phil had talked, and with Jo (Joakim Noah) and Melo, I really thought we were going to do something," Rose wrote in "I'll Show You," coauthored by Sam Smith, according to an excerpt published by the New York Post. "But when it came to the basketball, I knew right away that we were s--t."
The 2016-17 Knicks went 31-51 in what was their fourth-straight losing season.
Some things that irked Rose? The presence of and playing style of Anthony ("You know how he plays. Can't change that") and the fact that then-team president Jackson still wanted the Knicks to run the triangle offense.
While Rose was getting used to being on the Knicks, he was also a defendant in the midst of a sexual assault case.
"Phil was telling me to be patient," Rose wrote, according to the Post. "He said I had a lot going on with the 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."
While he felt "the spark" and wanted to perform for the Knicks, Rose explained that they knew it was "only a matter of time" before the whole thing fell apart.
Rose added that Jackson trying to force the team to play the triangle was also tough on head coach Jeff Hornacek.
"Early on in the season, Phil really didn't force anything," Rose wrote. "But as time went on, it converted all the way to the triangle and we played through that almost the whole year. For the team we had, I think deep down Hornacek really wanted to play that more up-tempo style. But being in that position, being a new head coach, having to listen to the front office, it's hard on that coach to say something. He's moved around, he'd been fired in Phoenix. I guess Hornacek got tired of hearing about it, having meetings about it, so he just said, 'We're gonna do it and see.'"
As the Knicks were flailing -- adding on to the recent struggles Rose had with the Bulls -- he said he simply felt like he needed a break. And that's why he went AWOL in January 2017.
"When I left the Knicks that day in January 2017, that's what it was about," Rose wrote. "I just needed to go home. I went to the crib with my mom. Everybody came over to the house to talk. That's the first time, one of the few times, where we sat down as a whole family and had a serious discussion like that.
"I had decided I was done playing. I saw the same thing that was happening with the Bulls was going on with New York. I could tell that the season wasn't going to be the season everyone thought, that I thought. I didn't know if I wanted to hoop anymore. Especially when it started to feel like a business. Of course, you know it's a business. They always say that. But you know it's also hoopin'. But it had started to feel like all business, no joy. That's when I wanted out. I wasn't having fun."
Rose admitted he should have said something to Knicks management before leaving and understood why they reacted the way they did -- saying Jackson was the "coolest" one to deal with. Rose's thoughts on Steve Mills are less glowing.
"Steve Mills is talking all this black dude stuff with me, like we're brothers and all this," Rose wrote. "He's saying that s--t, making me think it's going to make us closer. Come on, be yourself."
Despite everything, Rose said he wanted to stay with the Knicks after the 2016-17 season ended, but New York opted to let him walk.
"I loved New York," Rose wrote. "We were losing but I felt I was playing great. I felt like they still could have built something - or attempted to. They got rid of me but I definitely wanted to stay there. It was a new way of basketball life for me, to not be sure where I was going to play next. I knew I'd be playing, so I just focused on working out, keep up with rehab, get in shape, and have to show you again."
After a season with the Timberwolves, Rose now heads to the Pistons, who could contend for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.