BOSTON – The New York Knicks got a bit of good news on Wednesday when a Derrick Rose was cleared of sexual assault allegations in a civil court case.
Rose and two other men were accused of having sex with a woman in August of 2013 when at the time she allegedly was incapacitated.
The alleged victim, referred to as Jane Doe in court proceedings, was seeking more than $21 million in damages. Rose refused to settle the case out of court, electing to go to trial which began on October 4 - his 28th birthday.
There was some concern that the case would drag on for months and thus keep the Knicks’ prized offseason addition from joining the team in time for the start of the season.
But with the case being wrapped up in just a couple of weeks, Rose will likely rejoin his teammates this week.
As far as when he will appear on the floor, Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek indicated that there was no definitive timetable for him to return to the lineup.
But Hornacek and most Knicks fans were pleased with the case now being a thing of the past.
“It’s a tough thing he went through,” Hornacek said. “Now it’s over, he can focus on basketball.”
And Hornacek, in his first season as the Knicks head coach, can turn his attention to figuring out the best way to implement the former league MVP into what the rest of the club has been working on the past couple of weeks in training camp.
“When (Knicks front office officials) put the team together, it was Derrick at the one (point guard), Jo (Noah) at the five (center),” Hornacek said. “Jo’s starting to play now. Even though they’re veteran guys … there’s always chemistry things to work on. Now we get them all back.”
In addition to trading for Rose, the Knicks also signed then-free agent Joakim Noah this summer who was a teammate of Rose in Chicago.
They come to New York and form their own version of a Big Three unit with perennial All-Star Carmelo Anthony. And a fourth member of their starting five, Kristaps Porzingis, showed significant flashes during his rookie season of being a potential difference-maker in this league and a future All-Star.
New York is hoping Noah will not only produce on the floor for them, but also serve as a mentor or sorts for the 7-foot Porzingis.
As for Rose, the biggest concern for him and the Knicks now that his court case is over, has to do with him staying healthy enough to make a significant impact.
With him missing most of training camp, it may take him some time to get on the same page with his teammates and figure exactly what he can do to help them be successful.
But considering the potential fall-out from his court case, chemistry concerns at this point for New York is a welcomed challenge compared to the possibilities.