The Chicago Bulls avoided two potential distractions when the traded Derrick Rose to the Knicks last June.
One is his pending free agency in July and the other, of course, is his on-going and disturbing legal battle taking place in Los Angeles, Rose is now the Knicks point guard/problem and his former team is adjusting to life without Rose and Joakim Noah. The Bulls acquired both Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade over the summer while adopting a policy to not discuss Rose or his civil lawsuit for an alleged sexual assault.
“I honestly haven’t,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg told Chicago reporters when asked if he was following Rose’s trial. “You get so caught up in what we’re trying to establish here and get our foundation built.”
The Chicago Sun Times quoted an unnamed Bulls employee saying they were stunned that Rose didn’t just “pay her and make (the case) go away.” The plaintiff, who alleged she was gang raped by Rose and his two friends, is seeking $21.5 million in damages.
Rose has been in Los Angeles for the past nine days and has missed the Knicks last two preseason games. The trial could last another week and the Knicks are not certain that Rose will be available for Saturday’s game against Boston.
Derrick Rose is spending valuable time away from his new team as he deals with defending himself in a civil trial in Los Angeles as the NBA star is accused of gang-raping a woman.
The Knicks open the 2016-17 season against Cleveland on Oct. 25.
The Bulls traded Rose, a Chicago native, the day before the 2016 NBA Draft and 13 months from his free agency. It is unclear if Rose’s legal issues contributed to the club’s decision to part ways with the former MVP. It’s also not clear if Knicks president Phil Jackson did his due diligence and fully understood the scope of the case.
The Bulls had run out of patience with Rose, who spent most of the last five seasons injured.
Last year, Rose created a stir on media day by revealing that his focus was on his free agency in 2017. Then on the first day of practice Rose suffered a fractured orbital bone.
Derrick Rose got off to a bad start to his final campaign in Chicago after breaking orbital bone.
(Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Rose appeared in 66 games, his most in five years, but there were reports of Rose and All-Star teammate Jimmy Butler feuding.
“I didn’t find it a distraction last year,” Hoiberg added. “He obviously had the unfortunate incident on the first day of practice where he broke that orbital bone. That set not only him back but our team back a little bit when your lead guard has that type of injury that early in training camp, especially when you’re trying to implement a new system. That was tough.
“He fought through the injury and got himself back in the type of shape he needed to be in. Was it a distraction with the hometown thing? I didn’t find it that way.”
Still, the Bulls decided to sever ties with Rose and sent him to New York for Jerian Grant and Robin Lopez. As of now, the Bulls seem to have zero regrets.
“I sent him a message saying I enjoyed working with him right after the trade happened,” Hoiberg said. “But as far as the other stuff, I haven’t been focusing in on it at all.”
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News