Derrick Rose going AWOL from the Knicks' Monday night contest against the Pelicans predictably sparked a lot of confusion and speculation over just where exactly the hell he was. After all, straight up skipping a game without explanation is something you rarely even see at the high school level.

Then, at a practice on Tuesday, he explained what happened, saying he went back to Chicago to deal with a "family issue," while also saying he didn't answer the team's phone calls because he needed "his space":

Derrick Rose said he returned to Chicago because he needed to be with his mother.

— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) January 10, 2017

Rose said he needed to get to his family. It had nothing to do with basketball. He apologized to his teammates and organization.

— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) January 10, 2017

Rose said he didn't want to pick up the phone when Knicks called. He needed his "space."

— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) January 10, 2017

While the Knicks front office/coaches were understandably perplexed at this vague reasoning, they still started him against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night where he went 11-of-16 from the field for 25 points. Despite the solid performance from Rose, the Knicks lost anyway, because that's just kind of their thing these past three weeks. Also, Rose didn't go without punishment, as the organization fined him $200,000, 1/110th of his salary.

Additionally, the point guard's absence led to conjecture, which is to be expected when a big name athlete skips a game without explaining himself in the world's biggest media market. For instance, a column written by Frank Isola of The New York Daily News/Around the Horn indicated that Rose was distressed, and was contemplating a temporary retirement as he worked out his issues.

Unlike the fine, that speculation irritated Rose, and he responded to it by calling BS while talking to The New York Post on Wednesday night. "That’s something I don’t even want to speak into existence by commenting on it," he said. "I don’t know who would do that. Not at all. I was with my family.’"

Rose will become a free agent at the end of the season and is reportedly seeking a max contract. All this controversy would not seem to be helping him to achieve that goal. Guess we'll have to wait to see how that works out for him.