MIAMI: The first thing Derrick Rose did in his second stint with the New York Knicks was start handing out assists. And that was before he even played.
Rose made his second Knicks debut Tuesday night in Miami, scoring 14 points in 20 minutes in New York’s 98-96 loss to the Heat. He hadn’t even gone through practice with the team yet but it’s not like he didn’t know the plays; this is his third go-round with Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau, after they were together in Chicago and Minnesota.
“It’s obviously someone that I’m familiar with and we’ve been through a lot of things together,” Thibodeau said.
Those teammate skills went to use right away. Rose met up with the Knicks on Monday night in Miami, found the only rookies on the club — Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin — at dinner, gave them his phone number and told them that he’s available for anything they need to know.
Rose didn’t get near the playoffs in his first stint with the Knicks — New York went 26-38 in his 64 appearances during the 2016-17 season, the last with Phil Jackson overseeing things for the franchise — and the last time New York appeared in the postseason was 2013. But after a trade with Detroit earlier this week, the 33-year-old Rose is set to assume the role as New York’s savvy veteran, the only former All-Star now on the current Knicks roster, obviously the only former MVP as well.