AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Derrick Rose said after the Chicago Bulls' 100-91 loss to the Detroit Pistons on Friday night that he had apologized to his teammates for missing Wednesday's practice because of what Tom Thibodeau called "travel issues" during the point guard's return from a beach vacation after the All-Star break.
While it is unclear exactly when the apology took place in the last two days, Rose's game was clearly not in rhythm after a week off as he had one of the worst performances of the season.
In 31 minutes, Rose scored just eight points and was 2-for-9 from the field. He added two assists, two rebounds and six turnovers.
"Being one of the leaders, for anyone to miss, I wouldn't want it to be me," Rose said. "It hurt. I apologized to the guys and that was it."
While Rose acknowledged the error, he said he did not understand why people would be critical towards the practice absence.
"Not at all," Rose said. "We're over .500, we got another game tomorrow, so we got to put this performance behind (us)."
Thibodeau has discussed all season how important he feels practice time is, especially with a healthy roster, as the Bulls had heading into Friday's game. He was obviously frustrated that Rose missed Wednesday's practice.
"You're going to open yourself up to criticism when stuff like that happens," Thibodeau said. "Obviously, we got to do better, everyone has to do better. Every team in this league is talented. If you're not bringing great intensity, having great edge, we beat ourselves tonight."
After a couple early drives in the beginning of the game, Rose had little impact and did not look aggressive on the floor. Thibodeau would not say whether the absence was excused or unexcused.
"We handle that stuff internally," Thibodeau said. "Obviously, we want a commitment made by everybody to the team. Any time there's a break like that, you're mindful of the circumstances and you got to give yourself plenty of time so if something does go awry you can still get back in time. So it didn't happen, hopefully he learned from it and we all can learn from it.
"But the point is you can't put yourself in that position. So we'll deal with it, we dealt with it, move forward."
While Rose wasn't the only Bull to play poorly on Friday against an undermanned Pistons team that made several trades just before Thursday's trade deadline, the former MVP's struggles were more pronounced given that they came against Pistons guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said before the game that Dinwiddie was headed for a D-League assignment before the Pistons made their moves.
Rose said he felt compelled to say something because of the leadership role he has on this team.
"I just feel like I need to," Rose said. "Being one of the leaders of the team, flew the day of practice, thought I was going to make it, didn't make it in time and missed a practice. This is my first time ever missing a practice, not due to injury. Or not due to going to the dentist or going to the doctor, so I felt like it was right."
Bulls team leader Joakim Noah attempted to seemingly shield Rose from criticism.
He echoed Thibodeau's sentiments about the team for the Bulls to "be together as much as possible," but added "s--t happens."
"These are things -- this has nothing to do with -- the public doesn't need to know about that," Noah said of Rose's apology. "That's internal stuff, so those are things we would address as a team. Those aren't things that we need to address to you guys. ... I'm not worried about him, I'm not worried about Derrick. I'm not worried about Derrick because I know when s--t hits the fan, he'll be ready."
Thibodeau has also tried to shield Rose from criticism throughout much of the last three years as Rose has battled through two serious knee injuries. When asked if he felt Rose was as committed as he needs to be, Thibodeau responded in a more protective fashion.
"He's got a lot going on," Thibodeau said. "He's working through things. I thought right prior to the break he was playing his best basketball of the year and hopefully he'll get back to that right away. Sometimes things do happen and you got to deal with it as best you can."
When asked if he thought Wednesday's absence had any impact on Friday's performance, Rose was noncommittal.
"Who knows?" Rose said. "Who knows? ... I don't know. Who knows?"