Now back with the Cleveland Cavaliers after being away from the team for nearly two weeks, Derrick Rose made an attempt to clear the air with his teammates on Wednesday.
Rose spoke to his Cavs teammates before their game against the Sacramento Kings and apologized for the absence, Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com reports. Rose delivered his remarks on the court at Quicken Loans Arena prior to the team’s warmups, McMenamin reports.
A left ankle injury has sidelined Rose for much of the season. He’s played in just seven games, and the former MVP stepped away from his new team last month to contemplate his NBA future.
However, LeBron James said publicly Rose didn’t owe the team an apology. Tyronn Lue felt the same.
“He didn’t have to, but he did,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said of Rose’s address. “He asked me could he talk to the team before we started shootaround and addressed the team. Everyone welcomed him back and is happy he is here, and that’s it.”
Rose has missed the past 13 Cavs games and does not have a return timetable. He’s expected to speak to the media for the first time since his sabbatical commenced. In the meantime, the 29-year-old former All-Star will continue to rehab the troublesome ankle.
“Just going through his rehab now, trying to get healthy,” Lue said, adding he was uncertain if Rose continued his rehab during his stint away from the team. “It won’t be in the next few games or nothing like that, so just got to see how he takes to treatment.”
Although Rose is averaging 14.3 points per game, the Cavaliers have reeled off their 12-game win streak without him and have performed better when Rose has been off the court. It’s now possible Isaiah Thomas makes his debut before Rose returns, and the Cavs’ opening-night starting point guard almost certainly won’t have the same role he did prior to his injury.