NBA players all over the league noticed — Wesley Matthews got $70 million while still recovering from a torn Achilles, Reggie Jackson got $89 million, Enes Kanter got $70 million, and we could go on — and they drooled. Both publicly on Twitter and privately. They saw the impact of the new television deal, all the cash flooding the system, and they wanted to get their share.
Derrick Rose among them.
At Bulls media day Monday a reporter asked Rose a question about the civil lawsuit filed against him, and Rose’s answer was about how he’s not paying attention to it — but one of the things he was paying attention to was all the money flying around. And he wanted a piece. It was an unsolicited response, something noted by CSNChicago.com Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill.
The Bulls have been loyal to Rose, who has played just 100 regular season games total in the last four seasons. But this is a business. Rose has loyalty to the Bulls, but if another team offers boatloads more cash?
Before you comment about how “he’s just greedy,” or “he has no loyalty or love of Chicago” ask yourself this: Would you leave $10 million or more on the table? If you said yes, you’re lying. While the occasional long-time veteran will go David West and walk away from $11 million to chase a ring at the end of his career, that is not the norm. Nor should we expect it to be. NBA players have a limited window to make money, and you can’t blame them for trying to get all they can.
The more interesting question is what kind of a market there will be for Rose in 2017? He will only be 28, but there are a lot of miles on those tires. Obviously, it depends on how he plays the next couple seasons, and how healthy he can stay.