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. “But the biggest part is what I felt he can contribute to our team. And I’ve always been partial to good players. If someone is a good player, I’m interested. And I think he’ll add a lot to our team. I know his character. I know the type of teammate he is.”
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.
“He’s here to help us,” Quickley said. “He’s here to help us grow.”
He’s back to help the Knicks win again, too.
“I believe I'm a winner," Rose said. “I mean, I know I'm a winner."