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The elbow applied to Derrick Rose's face during the Bulls' first preseason practice couldn't have come at a better time.
The surgery scheduled for Wednesday and the amount of time Rose will miss took center stage, sending Rose's opening press conference comments and his outstanding civil suit to the sidelines. That's nice news for the Bulls' sometimes star.
Rose's comments last Monday cast him in a poor light in some circles, but he merely was voicing the mindset of many professional athletes and entertainers. The American Way also was on display.
As everyone knows, Rose is a product of Englewood, a kid who didn't grow up rich and advantaged. But he possesses skills that few humans enjoy, skills that are worth a fat paycheck. He's not a neurosurgeon - far from it - or a hedge fund CEO. They make big bucks as well and live their lives, for the most part, in anonymity.
We tend to celebrate bright, young minds that create startups in Silicon Valley. An IPO or a buyout from Facebook or Apple for millions, if not billions, of dollars might be in the cards.
Craft beers have made a nice dent in the beverage market, and when Lagunitas, a company valued at approximately $1 billion which houses one of its two breweries in Chicago, sells half of its business to Heineken, we sit back and marvel at the mind-boggling success of a company founded in the owner's kitchen in 1993.
Imagine if the Lagunitas CEO had said, "[I'm just] making sure my family is financially stable as far as you see all the money that they're [Heineken] passing out . . . Just telling the truth. Just knowing that my day will be coming up soon, and it's not for me. It's for [my son]."
Of course, those are Rose's words from last Monday, and as soon as they left his mouth, he added to his image of a me-first, selfish, arrogant super-athlete. But how many of us would not be reluctant to anticipate earning a fortune for unique skills that few others have? Most of us just wouldn't lick our lips in public.
What Rose didn't say is that he already makes in the vicinity of $20 million per annum from the Bulls, and far more from Adidas, and he hasn't played all that much in his injury-plagued career. Who does he think he is? Michael Jordan?
However, if D-Rose's son is so dear and important to him, why would be cavort around Beverly Hills acting out his sexual fantasies to which even he admits? Notwithstanding Charles Barkley, Rose is a role model. If not for kids everywhere, certainly for his son.
But there it was for everyone to read about. He had a woman friend. She claims the relationship lasted a couple of years. She says that Derrick encouraged her to partake in couples and group sex. Her account is that one night in 2013 she was drugged at Rose's California home and later raped by Rose and at least one of his friends.
The suit filed in Superior Court in Los Angeles claims she didn't go to the cops because she was too ashamed.
According to Rose's attorney's filing, he didn't deny that the woman was involved in group sex. The filing claims the woman "consented to the actions she now claims were non-consensual."
The court document also includes this: "The Plaintiff consented to sexual interaction with more than one co-defendant on more than one occasion, consented to sexual interactions on the day in question . . . [The woman] became upset a few weeks or months later because she felt she should be reimbursed for one of the sex toys she purchased and used during the day and night in question."
Surely a guy who can afford a Beverly Hills home could have bought her a new sex toy. What a great role model!
So now you might be able to understand why reports of Rose's orbital surgery would be far more appealing to him than the sordid details of the outstanding lawsuit.
Meanwhile, Rose is unflappable. It's almost as though this is much less stressful than shooting a couple of free throws to send a game into overtime.
"I will be proven innocent, but at the same time, it hasn't affected anything," he told the media on Monday. "It's not true. I take it as motivation. I feel like the devil is just working. I feel like I'm on the right track as far as where I want to be in my life. And I feel like when you're that focused people try to take you down. I'm very confident that I will be proven innocent."
Derrick, get this straight. You are not on trial. No jury or judge will determine your guilt or innocence. You are a wealthy man being sued for what at the very least is reckless behavior. You are not being charged with a crime, but, my God, is this the way you treat women? Is this the "right track" that you mentioned? What are you thinking?
Bulls general manager Gar Forman weighed in on Monday, indicating that he either is one of the dumbest guys in the building or is simply uninformed, in which case incompetency is at work.
"In regard to Derrick's situation, we understand that there's a process that he'll need to go through, but Derrick's part of our family and Derrick has our full support," he blurted. "We don't anticipate him missing any time. There's nothing being brought up of that nature."
Umm huh. So what's a few sexual escapades between friends out there in Beverly Hills got to do with anything, much less a run at an NBA title? More importantly, once he's old enough to understand, how will Rose explain this to his son?
By the way, how did the surgery turn out?
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