Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Are you gonna pay Derrick Rose's Rent?

Everyone's your brother until the rent comes due. - Ronin 1998
The Chicago Bulls season ended last week with a trouncing by the LeFlop James led Miami Heat. Derrick Rose the erstwhile Bulls Superstar did not play a single minute during the Regular Season or Playoffs while rehabbing his knee. Rose suffered a torn ACL during the 2012 playoffs .

Now, the injury rehabilation became a sticking point for Rose, his family, the Bulls Organization and Fans. According to the post-operation schedule, the Doctor who performed the ACL reconstruction suggested Rose would be ready to play by early April and that a month of games in the regular season would be the final step in the healing process.

Starting in late March, Derrick Rose through his brother Reggie and his own Twitter account let it be known that he was listening to his family and while he might come back it was only when he could "dunk of his left foot" and his knee 'felt comfortable'.

This caused much confusion and consternation in Chicago Sports scene. As the regular season dragged on and various other players gutted through injuries or missed games themselves. Luol Deng missed the entire playoff series with the Heat because of a vicious flu strain which Doctors were worried was Viral Meningitis.

As the Bulls struggled the confusion morphed into mild displeasure and then grumbling anger towards Rose. Chicago "Fans" questioned his toughness, mental and physical. They accused him of malingering.

I don't know what the collective bargaining agreement betweeen Players and Owners in the NBA stipulates. I do know that the Bulls through insurance recovered 40% of Rose's salary for the Season, roughly $6.5 million of $16.4 million, with whomever, his contract is indemnified.
The story of Hunter Hillenmeyer of the Chicago Bears is illustrative:
On August 28 2010, Hillenmeyer suffered a concussion during a pre-season game. He was placed on injured reserve before the season and has never played again. The Bears terminated his contract Feb. 28, 2011, one month after the team's concussion consultant, Dr. Elizabeth Pieroth, a board certified clinical neuropsychologist, examined him and recommended he no longer play. The Bears cut him with one year and $1.8 million remaining on his contract. According to the union, Article 45 of the collective bargaining agreement stipulates Hillenmeyer is eligible for an injury protection benefit of 50 percent of his base salary up to $1 million.
The Chicago Bears have not paid the 50% of Hillenmeyer's final contract. In the modern world of Sports you're earning a million dollars one day and out of work the next. Careers, most often, end in men's early 30's. Derrick Rose doesn't owe Bulls Fans anything. When his career is over no one in Chicago is going to help him out.

But, this is where the narrative gets most muddled. Through his actions it appears Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf is one of the few sports franchise owners who goes out of his way to help up and look out for his former employees.

Several Bulls players hit upon hard times after their playing careers have ended.
Randy Brown, a fringe player, who averaged 5ppg over his career of 655 games was part of the Bulls Second 3-Peat. Brown had to file for Bankruptcy and auction off his 3 rings. Reinsdorf simply created a "special assistant" job for Brown and hired him in 2009.

Scottie Pippen who made several bad contracts and was outspokenly truculent with the Bulls about his perceived contractual slights also reportedly fell into bankruptcy after his career ended. In 2010, Pippen rejoined the Bulls as an "ambassador".  
“Jerry has been very warm towards me over the years and has never turned me down for anything,” said Pippen.
In 2003, another Bulls Point Guard, Jay Williams injured himself. This time it wasn't on the court but a motorcycle accident during the off-season, which almost resulted in Williams losing his leg and requiring Williams to undoe multiple surgeries, extended hospital time and an arduous long recovery. 

Even though the accident could have been prima facie evidence of a contract violation because the Bulls had written into Williams contract that he was not to ride motorcycles, the Bulls organization helped pay his medical bills and a portion of the second season salary. Williams never played an NBA game again.

Jerry Reinsdorf has a clear track record of being loyal and compassionate towards his former athlete  employees which goes beyond what is normally seen in the cut-throat world of Sports Capitalism.

So, I think Rose has reached an incorrect conclusion about his post playing career but I don't fault him for reaching it.


J.O.B. said...

"Are you gonna pay Derrick Rose's rent"
The answer to your question Gene is no. Because if Rose never dribbles a ball again, he gets every penny that his contract stipulates. It's funny that you mention Hillenmeyer. The NFL is the only major sport that does not have guaranteed contracts. As far as Rose, I have no opinion. I have no interest in basketball whatsoever. But the thing I've been hearing recently on AM1000 is his brother making some pretty shitty comments. I don't know about the details, but it sounds like he was saying the team would go nowhere since his Brother wasn't playing. Anyway you look at it, the one thing you can't deny, is that Rose's Brother should keep his mouth shut.

Grung_e_Gene said...


I'm not sure how much of his money is guaranteed. My overall point was that if Rose is probably nervous he's going to re-injure himself and end his career (think Greg Oden or Brandon Roy) and if Derrick thinks by sitting out this year he can maximize his earning potential then that's his decision.

Now, the Bulls as an organization can decide to trade him but they got back 40% this year and would get back 80% next year through insurance (if he missing 95%+ of the season) so they aren't losing out as much.

However, under Reinsdorf, I think the Bulls organization has shown it is extremely generous to past employees though, so Rose may have miscalculated. Also he's placed his trust in his brother, who from what I know is a petty criminal and is probably thinking about the dollars he can skim off Derrick in the future and not his brother's well-being.

But, listening to the Chicagoans and reading the yahoo comments section it's amazing how much perverse pleasure people get in calling Rose mentally-weak and questioning his heart.

As though they have some vested interest like Rose is their representative in The Hunger Games.

toma said...

. . tick . . tock . . it only gets worse the more he waits. The whole planet will be staring at him next October. He's dangerously close to being the official wimp of the NBA, and what an achievement.

Andrew Acista said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J.O.B. said...

You know Gene, Being a former athlete, I understand where the fans are coming from. The truth is, most of them have ever experienced a serious knee injury. They have no idea what it takes to rehabilitate that knee to performance level.
But they know that Adrian Peterson had a similar injury, and less than one year later, he came nine yards shy of breaking the single season rushing record.
But all that set aside, I think Chicagoans had every right to question him. Only because Rose allowed it. If you're not going to play, or have any doubts. Just come out and say so. Don't him and haw. Injuries happen, no one can blame him for that. But the way he handled it, not to mention his Brother, leaves a lot to be desired.
GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Green Eagle said...

You think that's a problem? At least Rose is a legitimate high quality player. Think of Philly taking the pathetic schmuck Andrew Bynum off of L.A.'s hands and not getting a single minute of playing time out of him- probably for ever. Man, as a Lakers fan (well maybe not so much this year- when they charge that much for tickets, they damned well better win) I was thrilled to see the last of Bynum. The Sixers must have been drunk when they signed him. Even healthy he couldn't carry his weight, and injured he is about as much use to basketball as Francis the talking mule.

Grung_e_Gene said...


I can respect your position as a former athlete that Rose owes it to his fellow players. I don't think he owes fans anything.

Adrian Peterson is such a freak case similar to Bo Jackson's ability to return from an injury that would have literally crippled most people.

But, I'm reminded of when Jordan played through his sickness in the 1997 Finals against the Jazz. Many "Bosses" were chirpping about Jordan going to work while sick and my mental retort was pay me $30 million and I won't call in sick.


I think Rose now has the weak tag affixed in the minds of most NBA "fans" but screw them. Adidas and Giordano's might be worried but Rose needs to look after himself, which is what I think he's doing. Perhaps, he's miscalculated...

Green Eagle,

The Lakers are close to entering another fallow period. Let's see how Kobe bounces back with 50,000 minutes on his body... And Dwight Howard? He's the most physical human I've ever seen in person but like Rose he may be getting some poor career advice.

Green Eagle said...

As for the Lakers, in my opinion (worth nothing, probably, despite my history as a Lakers fan going back to seeing Kareem and Magic play live about a hundred times) the Lakers have a championship quality team right now, barring a little improvement on the bench. It's time for Kobe, Howard, Nash and Pau to act like it.