The main story from Phil Jackson's end-of-season press conference on Friday is that he said the New York Knicks' partnership with Carmelo Anthony hasn't worked, so the star forward is better off somewhere else. That wasn't, however, the only subject he addressed. Knicks guard Derrick Rose will be an unrestricted free agent in July, and Jackson said that Rose directly said he'd like to return. Rose, 28, earlier this month.
"He expressed the fact that he wants to be back," Jackson told reporters. "We talked about going through rehab and work and whatever he has to do, and he has chosen to go back to Chicago to do that. He will be in L.A. But he also took the time out to say he really enjoyed playing here even with the losses, which, of course, surprises us a little bit because he's been on some very successful teams. But he said he wants to have a chance to redeem himself as a player. Which, I like that attitude. I like who Derrick represents as himself. He's a warrior directed at taking on the big challenges."
That is a team president saying some nice things about a player on his team. That is different, however, from a commitment to re-sign said player. New York will have a high pick in this June's draft, and there will be high-quality point guard prospects available. Rose's financial demands might not make sense for the Knicks. Especially if they are trying to improve on defense and get younger,.
Jackson rightly praised Rose as being excellent at getting into the paint, but he also praised backup point guard Ron Baker for the way he defended on the perimeter and gave New York something it needed. While it's interesting that Rose said he'd like to stay after a 31-51 season, it doesn't mean anything unless the Knicks don't want to make a big, long-term investment in him.