Jalen Rose didn't play on Friday and missed practice yesterday. His Ferris Bueller-like absences may mean the Knicks are trying to buy out his contract. Or it could be as simple as a knee problem.

Rose did not attend yesterday afternoon's open practice at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey due to "personal reasons," according to Isiah Thomas. The Knicks coach wouldn't answer a direct question about whether he would even make the team. When asked, Thomas instead gave the peace sign on his way to the team bus, smiling like a Cheshire cat.

Thomas elected not to play Rose Friday night against the Nets. The 33-year-old undoubtedly hoped to challenge for the small forward spot this season, but Thomas didn't play him much in the preseason.

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