Joakim Noah blames ‘a girl who was trying to make money off my friends’ for Knicks missing Derrick Rose in preseason

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Derrick Rose said he wants to move on after being found not liable in his civil rape case.

But he didn’t do himself any favors by posing for pictures with jurors, raising questions about the integrity of the trial.

And Knicks teammate and former Bulls teammate Joakim Noah isn’t helping Rose either by dragging the plaintiff though the mud.

Noah, via Marc Berman of the New York Post:

“It’s a blessing to have him come back — it’s great the truth came out,’’ Noah said after the Knicks’ 121-96 preseason victory over the Celtics. “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 whack.”

Noah said Rose is “a tough kid but it was definitely a distraction, not just him but the whole team because some girl went out of her way to make money off of him.’’

Noah might be right about the plaintiff. He might be wrong. But let’s be clear: The verdict did not say what he said.

The jury determined, based on the evidence presented, it was not more likely than not that Rose raped Doe. The jury did not determine anything about the accuser’s motives or even, directly, her honesty.

Noah has a right to say what he said and believe it. He also ought to realize comments like this have a chilling effect on victims of sexual abuse. I don’t envy his position of wanting to support a friend accused of a crime. But – like all of us not in the room that night – Noah can’t know what happened, especially in a case like this with so much conflicting testimony.

Choosing to believe his friend is one thing. The verdict backs that approach.

But publicly denigrating this woman is another step entirely.

Is that worth it to Noah given the effect it has on future victims?