On Wednesday afternoon, Knicks guard Derrick Rose and two of his friends were cleared of all charges in their gang rape case, meaning Rose won't have to pay $21.5 million to a woman who sued him. After the trial, a number of people from the star-struck L.A. jury made the boneheaded decision to take pictures with Rose. A criminal investigation into the former NBA MVP is reportedly still pending.
Rose's ongoing legal problems have caused him to miss a significant chunk of his team's preparation for the upcoming NBA season, including four consecutive Knicks preseason games as well as nine practices. So after the Knicks beat the Celtics in a preseason game on Wednesday night, Rose's teammate Joakim Noah spoke with the New York Post and talked about how glad he is to hear that Rose will be back soon. But in doing so, he also made an uncomfortable comment about Rose's accuser. "It’s a blessing to have him come back—it’s great the truth came out," Noah said. "We didn’t have a point guard for all of preseason. All because of a girl who was trying to make money off my friends. [It] is just wack."
Noah, who was Rose's teammate for seven seasons in Chicago prior to them joining the Knicks this past offseason, also referred to the rape case as a "distraction" while speaking with reporters and took another jab at the accuser in the rape case. "[Derrick is] a tough kid but it was definitely a distraction," he said, "not just [for] him but the whole team because some girl went out of her way to make money off of him."
There are times when it's best for pro athletes to take the Marshawn Lynch route and say very little to the media—and this definitely felt like one of those times.
Rose is probably not going to play in the Knicks' preseason game against the Nets on Thursday night, but he's expected to be back in the lineup for the team when they take on the Cavaliers in their season-opening game on Tuesday night.