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With the New York Knicks in the playoffs, there’s always an excuse. The franchise is a cornerstone of the NBA but hasn’t won an NBA title since 1973. And through the eras of Patrick Ewing and John Starks, Larry Johnson and Allen Houston, and Carmelo Anthony and… well, that’s pretty much it, it’s been injuries and suspensions and bad luck and bad refereeing and every other excuse in the book. In the 2023 NBA Playoffs against Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat, former Knick and ESPN analyst Jalen Rose made the weakest excuse of all: It’s too hot in South Florida.

Jalen Rose thinks it’s too hot for the Knicks

In the second round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs, the 5-seed New York Knicks have home-court advantage over the 8-seed Miami Heat. However, the Heat stole Game 1 in Madison Square Garden, 108-101, to flip the series.

In Game 2, though, without Heat star Jimmy Butler due to an injured ankle, the Knicks scraped out a 111-105 win.

As the series shifted to Miami, it was crucial the Knicks either won Game 3 or played well enough to set up a Game 4 that they could take on the road. Instead, the Knicks came out flat and listless.

Butler and the Heat jumped out to an eight-point lead by the end of the first and were up 14 at the half.

It was then, during the ESPN halftime show, that former Knicks guard Jalen Rose made his ludicrous excuse for the Knicks’ struggles.

“When you’re the road team, you gotta pay attention to that weather and that heat because it causes your muscles to have — it affects the endurance of your muscles and causes tiredness,” Rose told Stephen A. Smith, Michael Wilbon, and Mike Greenberg.

Now, if this was the Jets going down to play the Dolphins, this argument may make sense. However, in the climate-controlled Kaseya Center, the Knicks’ lack of fight on their way to a crucial 19-point loss seems more about them than about the weather.

And more than anything, it seems like Jimmy Butler was tougher on the Knicks than the South Beach heat.

New York has no answer for Jimmy Butler

New York Knicks, Miami Heat, NBA playoffs, Jalen Rose, Jimmy Butler
Jalen Rose | Scott Legato/Getty Images for PGD Global

The NBA is a star-driven league, and nowhere is that more true than in the NBA playoffs. And this Eastern Conference NBA playoff series seems to come down to one star, Jimmy Butler.

Without Butler, the Heat are an average team with a below-average chance of winning. With Butler, the Heat are a defensive force and have a go-to scorer in a way the Knicks don’t, giving them the edge.

What it comes down to in this series is Butler’s star power. The Knicks are an excellent collection of talent, with Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson, and RJ Barrett all capable of carrying the team for stretches. But on a night when the Heat shot a horrible 39% from the field, 22% from the arc, and 50% at the rim, the Knicks didn’t have a star on Jimmy Butler’s level who could take advantage.

The Knicks shot even worse in Game 3, shooting 34%/20%/46% in the game, while Butler powered through, leading all scorers with 28 points and dragging his team to victory.

If the Knicks lose this series, it’s not because of the South Florida heat, Jalen Rose. It’s because they don’t have a star on the level of Jimmy Butler. And that’s an excuse for the Knicks that has actually been true to one extent or another for nearly 40 years.


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