Derrick Rose Is Cleared…At What Cost?

Writers note: I want to make this clear that this article is not about any opinions of myself, Ronald Agers or The Hardwood Nation about the guilt or innocence of this case.

Since 201o, when Derrick Rose was at the top of the NBA world as the league’s MVP, Rose has been in his own private hell while dealing with numerous knee injuries that kept him off the court.

This summer, Derrick Rose dealt with a situation that probably was another private hell that kept him off the court.

It was the tale of two summers for Derrick Rose. The best of times might have been the trade deal that sent him to New York, finally being released from a toxic environment in Chicago where the impending divorce with the Bulls after seven seasons was inevitable. The worst of times may have been wondering if he could even call himself a free man.

We now know at least that he is a free man.

In Los Angeles recently, jurors cleared New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose and his two friends, Ryan Allen and Randall Hampton in a lawsuit that had them allegedly gang raping Rose’s ex-girlfriend when she was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. None of the parties denied that the three men had sex with the woman. The question that was laid out to the jury was consent. Did the woman actually consent to sex or was she too intoxicated to do so.

Rose’s relief was evident that the jury rejected the $21.5 million dollar lawsuit.

“I am thankful that the jury understood and agreed with me,” his statement said.  “This experience and my sensitivity to it was deep. I am ready to put this behind me and focus on my family and career.”

But will it be behind him?

Forget the fact that if this case had gone the wrong way, the future of Derrick Rose’s career and endorsements were at stake here.

His NBA player contract along with his endorsement deal with Adidas has morals clauses. He stood to lose everything he had worked so hard for. Plus with Rose in a contract year worth $21.3 million dollars, the timing of this case couldn’t be worse.

In case Derrick Rose forgot, he is now the starting point guard for the New York Knicks. Trust me on this, the court case will weigh on his mind just like it weighed on Kobe Bryant’s mind when he faced charges.

Just like Bryant, Rose is in a major market…like the number one market. Ask Carmelo Anthony, EVERYTHING is magnified in New York.

Now that the trial is over, the New York media will have plenty of time to go over the trial and do a deep massage on every single detail. Even though the jury sided with Rose in this case, that doesn’t mean that Rose will not pay a price when it is all said and done.

Boy do they have a lot to talk about.

If anyone has paid attention to Derrick Rose over the years, it is obvious that he is a private person and that he is very sensitive. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this trial and all of its components will open him up to a lot of attention and comments in Madison Square Garden if he is not playing well and on the road if he is.

Rose has missed valuable time with his teammates, which is very important when you are trying to learn a new system with new teammates. He needs to find chemistry with the Knicks’ biggest dynamic force, Carmelo Anthony. The trial has already set him back.

This situation is a very bad situation for all parties involved on so many levels…

For Derrick Rose…

For a player going into a contract year hoping for a huge payday, this is not the time for your character to come into question. Injuries are already a huge question mark coming into this season, so providing more red flags with embarrassing details of his sex life will not help him financially come negotiation time.

Speaking of finances, I know Adidas is not particularly thrilled with all of the bad press. Remember, James Harden has his $200 million dollar contract on the books, plus Houston can count on him to play more than twice a week. Morals clauses can come into play for Adidas if the Rose shoes stop selling or he continues to get hurt.

Derrick Rose made a very questionable choice taking pictures with the jury AFTER the verdict was given. He looked like the entitled athlete that got away with a crime thanks to his money and high-powered attorneys. It’s not only a bad look for him but it feeds into the stereotype about athletes thinking they are above the law.

Derrick Rose & LA Jurors

The Alleged Victim…

It bears repeating that this is not about guilt or innocence here. But the sexting, the sex toys among other explicit content fed into the stereotype about gold diggers chasing an easy payday. The lawyers had a field day poking holes in the story of the alleged victim after her attorneys mishandled three text messages not given to the defense. That nearly sent the case to a mistrial alone.

Future Cases concerning sexual assault…

Rape and sexual assault cases in any scenario is tough to prove. Cases like this make it harder for women to come forward. There are so many women out there that live in silence out in the world believing in stereotypes that this case showed and that is sad.

Please join me and the staff of The Hardwood Nation in giving prayers and well wishes to the friends and family Nadine Hernandez, the investigating officer that was found dead from a gunshot wound during the trial.

Nadine Hernandez LAPD
Nadine Hernandez LAPD



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