Dan Feldman

New York Knicks basketball player Derrick Rose arrives at U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016. A six-woman, two-man jury has been seated in the trial of a civil lawsuit brought against Derrick Rose by an ex-girlfriend who alleges the NBA star and two of his friends drugged and sexually assaulted her. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

Derrick Rose ‘thankful that the jury understood and agreed with me,’ ready to move on

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jurors cleared NBA star Derrick Rose and two friends Wednesday in a lawsuit that accused them of gang raping his ex-girlfriend when she was incapacitated from drugs or alcohol.

The jury reached the verdict in federal court in Los Angeles after hearing dramatically different accounts of the August 2013 sexual encounter.

Rose says he’s thankful that the jury rejected the lawsuit.

He said in a statement to The Associated Press that it was important to prove he did not do what he was accused of, even though he had to share private details of his personal life.

“I am thankful that the jury understood and agreed with me,” his statement said. “This experience and my sensitivity to it was deep. I am ready to put this behind me and focus on my family and career.”

Neither side denied the three men had sex with the woman, but the issue was whether she consented or was too intoxicated to do so.

Defense lawyers tarred the woman as a liar who tried to sway jurors through her tears to get at Rose’s fortune. They claimed she was angry he had dumped her and she set him up and brought the lawsuit in hopes of a big payoff.

The woman’s lawyer called the men “sexual deviants” and says they conspired to gang rape her after she was drunk and incapable of consenting to sex.

The woman, who became emotional and trembled while testifying, had sought $21.5 million when she filed suit, but her attorney did not put a price on the case Tuesday during closing arguments, saying it was up to the jury.

Rose’s lawyer said the future of the Knicks point guard and his whole family was at stake because of a morals clause in his player contract and an endorsement deal with Adidas.

Attorney Mark Baute urged jurors to recognize the suit as a “hoax and a joke” and not even award $20 because that could destroy Rose’s career and trigger financial ruin for the star and the extended family and friends he had pulled out of poverty from Chicago’s south side with his talent on the court.

Lawyers sparred for nearly three hours during the bitter closing arguments.

The woman’s lawyer said the 30-year-old college student was not a gold digger and was seeking accountability for what was morally and legally wrong.

He said the men had never apologized or shown any remorse and said their behavior was reprehensible enough to trigger punitive damages beyond any compensation.

“The three men laughed their way home,” attorney Waukeen McCoy said.

The defense portrayed Rose and his childhood pals, Ryan Allen and Randall Hampton, who both work for him, as victims in the case and the lawyers mocked the woman’s lies and demeanor on the witness stand.

“This woman has tried to trick people through much of her life, men especially,” attorney Michael Monico said. “Who is she trying to trick in this courtroom, ladies and gentlemen? You. She doesn’t have any evidence, but she can cry.”

The Associated Press does not generally name people who say they are victims of sex crimes.

Rose, 28, was traded to New York this year after spending seven seasons in his native Chicago, where he won Rookie of the Year honors with the Bulls and was the youngest player to be awarded MVP in 2011.

He has been plagued with knee injuries the past few seasons and is in the final year of a five-year deal that will pay him $21.3 million

Adam Silver: NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte in 2019 ‘a high priority’

Michael Jordan
AP Photo/Chuck Burton
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says returning the All-Star game to Charlotte in 2019 is “a high priority,” providing there’s a resolution to a North Carolina law that restricts the rights of LGBT people.

The NBA moved the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte because it felt the law known as House Bill 2 was discriminatory.

Silver spoke Tuesday following a ceremony in Charlotte in which Hornets owner Michael Jordan unveiled the first of three refurbished neighborhood basketball courts.

He said: “We were in an unfortunate position that we were moving the game, so for me it is a high priority given the investments in the arena, given the investments in the team that Michael and his ownership group has made, and the city and state have made in the Hornets.”

Several concerts and sporting events have been relocated from North Carolina because of HB2.

Report: Heat and Kings have discussed trading Goran Dragic for Rudy Gay and Darren Collison

PHOENIX, AZ - NOVEMBER 07:  Rudy Gay #8 of the Sacramento Kings attempts a shot over Goran Dragic #1 of the Phoenix Suns during the first half of the NBA game at US Airways Center on November 7, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Kings care so much about winning whatever modest amount they can in their first season in their new arena, owner Vivek Ranadiv√© reportedly refuses to trade Rudy Gay, even though Gay told the team he’ll opt out and leave next summer.

This might be the type of deal that change’s Sacramento’s mind.

What if the Kings could land long-coveted Goran Dragic for Gay and Darren Collison?

Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders:

The Sacramento Kings and Miami Heat have discussed a trade of Rudy Gay and Darren Collison for Goran Dragic, league sources told Basketball Insiders.

Important caveats: Even if this report is true, either team proposing the deal and immediately getting rejected would constitute discussing the trade. It’s also not clear either team is still deliberating on such a trade.

That’s said, let’s discuss the merits of such a swap.

The Heat would be selling low on Dragic, but they could gain a huge amount of salary-cap flexibility if they also get Chris Bosh‘s salary removed from their cap. While Dragic has three years and $54,327,525 remaining on his contract after this season, Gay has a $14,263,566 player option for next season, and Collison’s contract is expiring.

The risk: Gay opts in. He’ll probably command more on the open market next summer, but that’s not a lock. He’s likely far less motivated to bolt Miami than Sacramento.

And that’s the biggest factor this trade: Cap space goes further in Miami than Sacramento.

Dragic would upgrade the Kings at point guard guard in a way they’d be hard-pressed to duplicate in free agency. Dragic’s long-term deal also provides security for Sacramento.

Arguably, the Heat should angle for more, but it’s a point guard-saturated league. There aren’t many potential buyers. And again, Miami can turn that cap flexibility into something meaningful.

That could justify punting on the season, which this trade would largely do. With Collison suspended the first eight games of the season, the Heat would start in a hole, and Dragic is the best player in the deal. But Miami is unlikely to make the playoffs with him, so why not aim bigger later?

This would be Pat Riley’s chance to build through free agency without the Dwyane WadeLeBron James friendship stealing the spotlight. Though Riley deserves plenty of credit for setting up the Heat’s big three, he’d be working from a far blanker slate this time with just Hassan Whiteside as a centerpiece.

The Kings should do this if the trade is available. It’d make sense for the Heat only if they have a positive read on 2017 free agents and Gay is willing to opt out.

Rumor: Spurs could trade LaMarcus Aldridge, who’s not fitting as well as they hoped


The last time a player who made an All-NBA team was traded prior to the end of the next season was when the Suns sent 2013-14 All-NBA third-team guard Goran Dragic to the Heat.

Could LaMarcus Aldridge be next?

Jackie MacMullan on CSN New England:

Sources were telling me the other day that LaMarcus Aldridge may not even finish the year with the Spurs. That experiment hasn’t quite worked out the way they hoped.

A follow-up discussion with host Gary Tanguay revealed a little more:

  • Tanguay: “LaMarcus Aldridge. You want him? I mean I love him.”
  • MacMullan: “No.”
  • Tanguay: “You don’t want him?”
  • MacMullan: “Not after what I heard the other day, I don’t.¬† No, of course. You would take him on if you could, because he’s an automatic double-double. But there’s just some things about him.”
  • Tanguay: “There’s some stuff going on?”
  • MacMullan: “Yeah, there’s some stuff going on, maybe.”

That sounds rather ominous.

Aldridge found his footing in San Antonio more quickly than I expected last year, when he signed from the Trail Blazers. Instead, he made the All-Star team and All-NBA third team. He also proved instrumental in the Spurs going up 2-1 on the Thunder in the second round.

But Oklahoma City figured out his post-up game, and slowing him allowed a comeback. Perhaps, San Antonio is worried the book is out on Aldridge’s playing habits. MacMullan’s wording suggests something deeper.

If that’s the case, its’ difficult to judge Aldridge’s trade value.

He has two reasonably priced years left on his contract at $20,575,005 and $21,461,010 then can and likely will opt out in 2018. It would make some sense to trade the 31-year-old Aldridge now while the return seemingly remains high and build around 25-year-old Kawhi Leonard.

But San Antonio relies on a few players even older than Aldridge: Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Pau Gasol. Resetting would be much more complicated than trading just Aldridge.

I’m not sure what the Spurs are angling for here, but there’s a decent amount of smoke emanating from San Antonio.

Frank Kaminsky trolls Cubs with Steve Bartman jersey in Chicago

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Frank Kaminsky grew up a White Sox fan in the Chicago area, and in town for last night’s Hornets-Bulls game, he let everyone know where he stands.

As the Cubs attempts to make their first World Series since 1945 and win their first championship since 1908, Kaminsky showed up to the basketball game in a Steve Bartman jersey.

Chuck Garfien of CSN Chicago:

The Cubs did not like that: