Back with his team for the first time in over two weeks, Derrick Rose took the compassionate and modest approach regarding the verdict that cleared him of liability in his messy civil trial.
As a stark contrast to teammate Joakim Noah, who implied the rape accuser was only out for money, Rose even expressed sympathy for the 30-year-old Jane Doe.
“(I feel a) little bit (vindicated) but at the same time there was another person that was involved in this so if anything I’ve just been praying for myself and praying for her because the issue is very big in the States and everywhere,” Rose said. “So just praying for everyone that was involved and knowing that all this is out of my control. The only thing I could work on is being a better person, being a better dad, brother, cousin, uncle, being the best I could be so I could help others.”
Rose repeatedly called his return to basketball “a blessing.” He took responsibility for “putting myself in this situation,” and said his biggest regret was missing his son’s third birthday.
“I’m a grown man. I put myself in this situation and I had to get myself out,” he said. “I was focused the entire time. More than anything, out of all of this the only thing that really hurt me was missing my son’s birthday party, missing his birthday and his birthday party. Those were the two things that I was worried about the most.”
Rose drew criticism following Friday’s verdict because he posed with the jurors in photos. The 28-year-old said Saturday he was merely obliging their requests.
“I didn’t have anything to do with the jurors wanting pictures, like they wanted the pictures, it wasn’t like I forced the pictures or wanted the picture to put it out there,” Rose said. “They wanted pictures so I took a picture and that was all it was.”
Rose met with coach Jeff Hornacek for about an hour Friday to go over the offense. He then scrimmaged with his teammates Thursday, giving the Knicks their first look at the entire starting 5 since training camp broke three weeks ago.
Rose said he maintained a workout regimen while on trial in L.A., and was eased mentally by the support from the Knicks.
“I was talking to them along the way, every day, talking to if not Phil (Jackson), Steve (Mills), Joakim, some of the other players that reached out,” Rose said, “just letting me know that there was concern, wanting me back, so that took a lot of pressure off to ease my mind a little bit and just let me know that while I was working out, out there, I had to go harder because looking at some of the (preseason) games, it was looking like we were playing good basketball at some periods of the game, at certain times during the game and that excited me a little bit.”
Hornacek has committed to starting Rose in the season opener Tuesday in Cleveland, even though the point guard missed the final five preseason games.
“We’ll find out (if he’s ready for starter’s minutes),” Hornacek said. “He looks in pretty good shape. It may be a situation where we put him in. If he looks like he’s tired, we’ll get him out and then get him back quickly. Maybe the rotation is a little different as he first comes back. But like I said, he looked in pretty good shape.”
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News