Derrick Rose is the most interesting man at MSG

There are nights when you watch the Knicks play, as they try to figure out who they are and what they might do this season, and you see what Derrick Rose was when he first came home to Chicago, and played basketball as if he were a streak of light. And there have been nights, absolutely, when the Knicks’ best team and their best chance came with Rose on the court, and with the ball.

But a quarter of the way into this NBA season, one in which the Knicks have been more entertaining, especially at the ends of some of these close games, there is no way of knowing if Rose can ever again be a star of his league. Or if the Knicks are going to want him to stay.

“My rhythm is coming,” Rose says, and I believe he’s right, even though the idea that the Knicks are already considering giving him a three-year extension – for 75 million or whatever it is – is ridiculously premature.

Joakim Noah isn’t healthy yet, so there is no way of knowing if he will turn out to be a good or bad contract for Phil Jackson. It is still too early with Rose, too. But he IS healthy, as he tries to show that he still has enough game to be worth at least one more big contract in pro basketball.

You give him all the room he needs for now, because it is so early. The very best news so far is that Rose has played every game the Knicks have played this season, after only being healthy enough to play 166 over the past five seasons. It is a start. It is a big step for him on the way back, no doubt.

But here is the problem with Rose, and for him: He is playing for a new contract, in what he still believes is his prime. He has frankly been talking about his upcoming free agency for years. But the streak-of-light kid who was the MVP of the NBA at the age of 21, is the third-best player on his team now, even in a league where the dream is to be a three-star team.

Rose is still only 28. You know he can still get to the basket. Again and again, and especially if you have watched the Knicks’ guard play since Phil Jackson took over the team, Phil had to go for him once the Bulls made him available, on the chance that Rose could come back and get healthy and, truly, be a game changer.

The Knicks are Kristaps Porzingis’ team and Carmelo Anthony’s team... not Derrick Rose's.

The Knicks are Kristaps Porzingis’ team and Carmelo Anthony’s team… not Derrick Rose’s.

(Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Only this is Kristaps Porzingis’ team, and Carmelo Anthony’s team. Neither one of them is going anywhere. Porzingis is going to be the player to watch at Madison Square Garden for as long as he is a Knick, unless one of these days somebody like Russell Westbrook decides he would like to try it in New York City.

Can Porzingis and Carmelo and Rose co-exist on a playoff team? Of course. And why not? In the glory years at the Garden, with Clyde and Capt. Willis and them, they had Hall of Famers all over the court. The Warriors are doing just fine moving the ball and the shots around now that Kevin Durant is out there with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Rose wants to win, and he has fought hard to get healthy. But it doesn’t change the fact that Rose sees the Knicks as his chance, as big as the stage he’s been presented at the Garden, to prove to people that he is still one of the best point guards in the NBA.

What we will really see across the rest of the season is if Rose can actually be successful in what is essentially a complimentary role. There will be plenty of games, if he stays healthy, when he plays the way he did as a kid, when it sometimes seemed impossible for the guy guarding him to stay in front of him. He absolutely has to be given time. He is a work in progress the way the Knicks are. The season will show if he really does have his legs underneath him again.

He has been fine so far. He has averaged 16 points a game, which is exactly what he did across 66 games for the Bulls last season. He is averaging nearly five assists and four rebounds. But you can see already that the notion of Rose ever flourishing in Phil Jackson’s vision of modern pro basketball – it’s the triangle, stupid! – was always going to be nuts. Chicago or New York, it doesn’t matter, Rose wants the ball. But it’s never going to be his ball here. It’s the kid’s ball. Or Carmelo’s. It’s always worth remembering that as much as Carmelo wanted this stage, he originally came here to get paid. Now it is Rose, who has one more MVP award than Carmelo Anthony does, who wants to get paid.

The Knicks now have a record of 10-9. Rose looked like his old self on Friday night against the Timberwolves, a couple of nights after watching the last 3:48 of the Knicks-Timberwolves game in Minnesota. He scored 24 on a night when Porzingis couldn’t throw the ball into the Hudson River. The Knicks put up a lot of points and won and were a good show again, even against a bad team.

Rose: “As far as my future and everything, who knows? I’ll have to wait until the end of this year and figure things out, but I would love to be here though.”

Derrick Rose isn’t the best player the Knicks have. But he is the most interesting. At the Garden this season, in so many ways, he’s the most interesting man in the world.

What worries us about McKnight, Yo gets paid & watching Tiger…

– A big-mouthed sheriff in New Orleans says that nobody should rush to judgment on the shooting of Joe McKnight the other day.

He’s right, even though that seemed like dumb luck if you watched his press conference.

No one should rush to judgment here.

But you do want to ask this guy a question:

What does somebody have to do in New Orleans to get charged after Joe McKnight ends up with three bullets in him after an alleged road rage incident?

And once again you have to ask this question:

How many times are there good outcomes in moments like these once a gun is added to the equation?

Even with all the young arms they’ve got, Yoenis Cespedes is the Mets’ star now.

Even with all the young arms they’ve got, Yoenis Cespedes is the Mets’ star now.

(Kathy Kmonicek/AP)

– I wasn’t sure Yoenis Cespedes was going to stay at Citi Field last year, and I sure didn’t think he was going to stay this year.

But I’m glad he did.

Even with all the young arms they’ve got, Cespedes is the Mets’ star now.

And the most exciting at-bat in town, at least until Gary Sanchez does it again.

You know what he has done from the time he showed up here at the trade deadline in 2015?

Started earning the kind of money Jeff and Fred Wilpon threw at him the other day.

You kept waiting for somebody to give the President-elect 15 yards for excessive celebration in Cincinnati the other night.

– All Ryan Fitzpatrick has become with the New York Jets is a place saver.

As they move into another football December having absolutely no idea who their quarterback of the future is going to be.

Because if they’re not playing Bryce Petty now, in a lost season — and whether or not they beat the Colts on Monday night — they’ve already decided Petty isn’t that quarterback, after what seems like a pretty small sampling to me.

– The Patriots started the season without Tom Brady and now are about to end it without Gronk, and maybe they can still end up in Houston for Super Bowl 51.

But what the loss of Rob Gronkowski really reminds you is how precious little time Tom Brady has spent in his career throwing the ball to a great receiver.

He’s had Gronk, you bet.

And he had Randy Moss for a blink.

There have been other guys, but they’ve just been other guys.

What Brady continues to show, season after season, and even at the age of 39, is that he is the greatest quarterback of all time.

Terry Bradshaw, who won four Super Bowls with the Steelers, had Swann and Stallworth.

Joe Montana, who was 4-0 in the Super Bowl, had Jerry Rice, the best wide receiver of them all, for half of them.

Tom Brady has played six Super Bowls and won four of them, and Giants fans know better than anyone else how close he is to being 6-0.

And has had one Hall of Fame receiver in his prime:

Gronk.

Who’s hurt.

Again.

Incidentally?

– Tiger Woods may end up getting hurt again.

He has already had an epic number of injuries in a non-contact sport.

You start to get the idea that he has had as many comebacks, as he moves up on his 41st birthday, as he’s had swing changes.

But he certainly reminded you of something on Friday in the Bahamas when he was shooting a bogey-free 65 in the Hero World Challenge:

He still makes you want to watch him play golf.

It is what sports is supposed to do.

– Too many of my friends have told me how truly great “The Crown” is for me not to want to watch it, maybe just to see John Lithgow play Churchill.

If you haven’t seen “The Front Page” yet at the Broadhurst Theater, and can afford to go, please do before it closes its run in January.

First we were blessed on Broadway with Tom Hanks playing Mike McAlary in “Lucky Guy.”

Now comes this remake of “The Front Page” with Nathan Lane and John Slattery and even vets from “Lucky Guy” like Chris McDonald and Danny Mastrogiorgio.

The best news of all, from a classic about old newspapers, is that the work of Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur still stands up.

Big time.

– Michigan is still one of the best four teams in college football.

But for the last time:

Adding four more teams to the CFB playoffs is not going to right all wrongs, or double the excitement, and the fun of the thing.

They lucked into the current system not actually knowing how good it was going to be.

They have created a system where every single weekend feels like March Madness.

And if they change it, it won’t be in the name of giving more worthy teams a chance to win it all.

They will change it for money.

Shocker.

Forget about Taiwan, the President-elect’s new bestie.

I keep thinking it’s New York that should be a separate nation.

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Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News

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