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Derrick Rose, Jim Boeheim and the subtle art of making a bad Knicks headline

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When your words are sure to be twisted into a joke, maybe don’t talk so much.

Basketball - Olympics: Day 16 Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

There exists somewhere in the vastness of space an entity known only as “Knicks.” It is a yawning black hole, with a gravitational pull so strong that information cannot escape. It is pulled in and transformed on a subatomic level, and all that is left at the event horizon is the Hawking radiation known as “takes.” Even the most elementary interviewee knows that it should be avoided whenever possible.

And then are Derrick Rose and Jim Boeheim. The venerable college coach and the Knicks’ newly-acquired point guard would seem at first blush to have very little in common, but they are alike in one key way: They like to run their mouths.

Both Rose and Boeheim made headlines this week for giving interviews that, while full of nuance and technical truths, including at least one sentence destined to be torn apart by the gravitational pull of the Knicks singularity of bullshit.

Here’s Rose, from The Vertical:

"I feel like I’m not done," Rose said. "It’s a new start. I feel rejuvenated, and when you put all that together, when I step on the floor, I really don’t know what to expect. What I’m doing right now is just preparing myself for something big. I think we have a chance to win every game, and in the league, that’s rare."

And here’s Boeheim, from Syracuse.com:

[Carmelo Anthony is] unlikely to win an NBA title,” Boeheim said. “He’s never been on a team that even had a remote chance of winning an NBA title. As a player, all you can do is try to make your team better and every team he’s been on he’s made them a lot better.

Even a 10-year-old Knicks backer could tell immediately that those interviews would get mangled into “LOLZ dumbass Knicks think they’re going 82-0” and “Melo’s never gonna win cuz LOL Knicks are dumb.”

However, there exists within these tortured, clickbait-ed statements a few critical differences. Everything Rose has said this summer, from “I think we have a chance to win every game” to his far more regrettable “super-team” comment, has been accompanied by a heaping helping of praise for his new teammates.

The following statement also comes from his recent interview, just after a description of Rose’s workouts with Kristaps Porzingis, Brandon Jennings and other new teammates. You may not have seen it yet, since it’s much harder to turn into a punchline:

“I just love the group,” Rose said. “I think everybody is on the same page. I love the culture that Phil is creating. Just the organization and franchise, I love everybody that’s working on it, and they seem like they’re very excited for everything. That just rubs off on people.”

He loves his new team! He’s excited! It’s a wonderful attitude to carry into the season, even if Rose can’t overcome his old habit of stumbling into hyperbole.

Now compare that with Boeheim’s statement. Perhaps no other coach in America owes such a singular debt to one of his players as Boeheim does to Carmelo Anthony. Without Melo, he would forever be remembered as a coach who piled up wins, but never could quite reach the summit. Boeheim wants to protect his guy by reminding the world that he’s been on some subpar teams. That’s nice and all, but maybe don’t extend that all the way through the rest of Melo’s career just yet.

Has this dude never done an interview before in his life? I don’t care if that is his honest appraisal — and let’s be honest, most people probably agree that Melo will never win a title unless he joins up with a ready-made contender during the twilight of his career — he needs to learn when to just give out a canned, “We’ll see what happens” and move the hell on.

Unlike Derrick Rose, Boeheim won’t be around this season. His statements — taken out of context or not — won’t be repeatedly thrust back in his face if the Knicks fail. He’ll be off taking one more victory lap in Syracuse.

So please, my man, stay away from any Knicks-related topics. The cloud of takes surrounding this organization is already thick enough.