Derrick Rose found not liable on all counts in rape trial

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After deliberating for just three hours, a Los Angeles jury Wednesday cleared of Knicks point guard Derrick Rose of all counts in a high-profile civil rape trial, as reported by those in the courtroom. His co-defendants, Randall Hampton and Ryan Allen, also were cleared by the jury.

This means Rose will pay nothing to the woman who brought the lawsuit. This was a civil trial only, not a criminal one — there was no potential jail time involved. The Los Angeles Police Department does have an open investigation into the case.

A former girlfriend of Rose’s filed the lawsuit tied to a 2013 incident in Beverly Hills. (We will not publish the name of a woman in a sexual assault case, although because it was a civil trial the judge did use it in the courtroom.)

The suit claimed that Rose and two friends gang-raped the woman at her apartment when she was too intoxicated — she admits to drinking and thinks she was drugged — and could not give consent. She sued for $21.5 million. Rose and his attorneys claimed the sex was consensual, that the woman had sex with the men earlier in the night as well, and that the woman was seeking a payday.

The issue of consent was at the heart of the case — Rose said she consented, the woman said she was in no condition to give informed consent. Both sides tried to use texts between the participants that night to bolster their case. The jury ultimately sided with Rose.

The case was laid out in graphic detail by both sides in the courtroom, and while Rose was found not liable the image of him and his friends that night — by their own admissions to what did go down — was not pretty. In fact, what came out in depositions and in court was flat-out misogynistic. This hurt his brand, but Rose has long been less concerned about that than most any other NBA player. He did what he felt was right in this case.

How much this hangs over the head of Rose and is a cloud over the Knicks this season remains to be seen. Rose will not play in Thursday’s final New York preseason game according to Jeff Hornacek, but he will join the team, and they will try to catch him up on what he missed the past couple of weeks. The Knicks tip-off the season on the road Oct. 25 in Cleveland, watching the Cavaliers raise their championship banner and get their rings.

 

Lonzo Ball finishes one-handed alley-oop on Willie Cauley-Stein (video)

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So much attention is paid to Lonzo Ball‘s father, jumper and passes. Those are the major storylines for the Lakers rookie.

But he has such a diverse skill set, and this is absolutely part of it. Ball is a savvy off-ball cutter in the halfcourt with the athleticism to get above the rim and finish alley-oops.

But finish them over 7-footer Willie Cauley-Stein, who was tracking the play (though slightly late)? That’s an eye-opener, even in the Kings’ 113-102 win.

Marc Gasol makes 3/4-court shot just after buzzer (video)

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When Marc Gasol‘s 3/4-court attempt went through the net, it seemed to barely matter the ball left his hands just after the first-quarter buzzer. After all, the Grizzlies led the Mavericks by 15, anyway.

Turns out, Memphis really needed that basket.

Watch Knicks string together 28-0 run against Raptors

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Toronto has been the second best team in the East this young season. Not that anyone is really convinced they will be called that by the time we get to the playoffs (or even the All-Star break, or even Christmas), but for the first 16-18 games of the season their new move-the-ball offense had them at 11-5 and looking solid.

Wednesday night the Knicks dismantled the Raptors.

Especially in the third quarter when the Knicks went on a 28-0 run to blow the doors off the Raptors (video above). The Knicks dominated the third 41-10, when Toronto shot just 1-of-16 from the floor.

New York is gaining confidence with each win this season, they are a fun team to watch that is starting to find an identity (now that a certain three-sided shaped one is not being forced upon them). Kristaps Porzingis is a monster, and while the Knicks overpaid the market for Tim Hardaway Jr. he has lived up to his contract this season. With rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina showing some nice defense and playmaking skills as a rookie (although he is undoubtedly still a work in progress), you can see a path to a strong future unfolding. There are real reasons for hope in New York. Someone just keep James Dolan distracted and away from the basketball operations side of the building.

Devin Booker forces OT with deep turnaround buzzer-beating 3-pointer, but Bucks beat Suns (video)

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I’m not sure who benefited from Devin Booker‘s buzzer-beating, overtime-forcing 3-pointer. The Suns still lost to the Bucks, 113-107. The extra five minutes featured more of the same relatively bad basketball we’d seen between Phoenix (bad) and Milwaukee (shorthanded) through 48 minutes.

But darn if this shot wasn’t really cool and clutch.