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Derrick Rose tried to explain away his absence from Monday night’s Knicks game by citing a “family issue,” sketching the incident in vague terms. “It had nothing to do with the team or basketball, but that’s the first time I ever felt like that emotionally, and I had to be with my family,” he told reporters yesterday, explaining that he flew to Chicago on Monday night and returned Tuesday morning.

Yesterday, the Daily News’ Frank Isola offered more context for why Rose may have abruptly skipped out on a game he was supposed to start in:

Rose, according to two independent sources who spoke to the Daily News on the condition of anonymity, was such an emotional wreck Monday afternoon that his only solution was to abruptly leave the Knicks to be with his mother and his son.

In fact, Rose’s state of mind was such that for a brief time he talked about walking away from basketball for an extended period of time to clear his mind. That seems hard to believe since Rose is only 28 years old and could land a lucrative free agent contract this summer, something he talked about two years ago.

The Knicks fined Rose for missing the game and expect him to play tonight against the Sixers.