Bulls mum on Derrick Rose accusations

SHARE Bulls mum on Derrick Rose accusations
SHARE Bulls mum on Derrick Rose accusations

Even after two knee surgeries since 2012 and over a year-and-a-half removed from an NBA game, Derrick Rose had plans last summer.

Big plans.

“There’s still a legacy for me to build,’’ Rose said, while pushing through his second comeback from season-ending surgery with USA Basketball last August. “That’s what drives me. There’s a lot for me to do still. It’s about being a professional now. Every day. I can’t stop until goals are reached, even with some of the dark periods of time. Those are behind me.’’

According to a lawsuit filed by a woman who claims Rose and two of his friends allegedly drugged and sexually assaulted her, maybe not.

A woman, only identified in the suit as “Jane Doe,’’ claims she dated Rose from 2011 to 2013, and on Aug. 27, 2013, Rose and two of his friends, allegedly broke into her house and sexually assaulted her after having slipped a drug into her drink earlier.

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Rose’s attorney, Mark Baute of Los Angeles, issued this statement:

“The plaintiff’s allegations are completely false and without any factual basis. This is nothing more than a desperate attempt to shake down a highly respected and successful athlete. Mr. Rose was in a non-exclusive, consensual sexual relationship with the plaintiff for over two years. The plaintiff expressed no complaints about Mr. Rose until various lawyers began to surface and demand that the plaintiff be paid millions of dollars. This is the third lawyer the plaintiff has retained in this matter. Two years have passed since Mr. Rose ended the consensual relationship with the plaintiff, and her claims are as meritless now as they were two years ago. We have complete confidence that the case will be dismissed and that Mr. Rose will be vindicated. This lawsuit is outrageous.”

As for the Bulls, it has been a circle-the wagons mentality of silence, with the team issuing a short statement early Thursday morning.

“We just learned about this matter and do not know all the facts,’’ the statement read. “It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.’’

What makes all of this tough for the organization to decipher is the obvious disconnect that has gone on between the Rose camp and the Bulls for years.

Calls and messages to front-office personnel and teammates over the last 12 hours mostly went unreturned, with one person saying off the record, “We just don’t know Derrick like that,’’ when asked if there was a known relationship between the point guard and the “Jane Doe’’ in California.

Share Events on The CubeEven Rose acknowledged that disconnect between the organization and his camp last summer, telling the Sun-Times, “I know [the tension has] been there. I heard there were some upset people. I’m happy I didn’t personally see it. I don’t want to see that. I kind wonder where it was coming from because it seemed like whenever I was around everything was alright. It bothered me because when I wasn’t around I would hear from certain people that everything wasn’t alright.’’

The dysfunction of the relationship was further displayed by Rose’s agent last summer, as B.J. Armstrong admitted that he doesn’t feel the need to speak to anyone in the organization besides board chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.

Armstrong, who used to work for the Bulls, had a falling out with VP of basketball operations John Paxson back in 2005, and the repair in the relationship had been almost non-existent.

Not that the Bulls aren’t used to dealing with Rose controversies.

It was back in the 2009 season, that the NCAA concluded that Rose cheated on his SAT test scores while he played for Memphis, eventually vacating the college’s entire 2007-08 basketball season.

By the time the 2010-11 season was playing out, Rose hiccups were a distant memory, as the guard was the youngest player ever to receive NBA MVP, leading the Bulls to the Eastern Conference Finals.

In December of 2011, Rose signed a five-year, $94.8 million contract extension with the Bulls, and two months later inked a 14-year, $260-million deal with Adidas.

But the fall came quickly for Rose after that, as he tore his left anterior cruciate ligament in the first game of the 2012 playoffs, sat out all of the 2012-13 season, and then injured the right meniscus just 10 games into the 2013-14 season.

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Rose’s knees again betrayed him in last February, as he once again had to have surgery on the right knee. However, he returned just before the playoffs, and in 12 postseason games, averaged 20.3 points and 6.5 assists per game.

All reports from newly hired coach Fred Hoiberg this summer were that Rose was as in as good of shape as he’d ever been with all kinds of optimism surrounding the kid that grew up in Chicago’s very own Englewood.

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com

Twitter: @suntimes_hoops

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