Derrick Rose missed the past two weeks of the Knicks' preseason, as he was in Los Angeles, fighting a rape claim in civil court. On Wednesday, the jury cleared the former NBA MVP of all three claims: sexual battery, battery and trespass.
Then stuff got weird.
"Mr. Rose, my best wishes to you and your career -- except when the Knicks play the Lakers," Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald closed the trial, according to the Julia Marsh of New York Post.
Yes, of course it is the judge's job to remain objective. But even more so, jurors should maintain a level of professionalism, despite serving as independent citizens.
Well, that didn't happen either. Rose shook all eight jurors' hands after the trial. The "majority" of jurors posed with Rose for pictures.
— Joel Rubin (@joelrubin) October 19, 2016
Rose posed with jurors after verdict, shook hands and thanked each one. Here with No. 4 and attorney pic.twitter.com/jDFBwCWQK8
— Julia Marsh (@juliakmarsh) October 19, 2016
Two jurors took a pic with Rose. One said he had never heard of him (not a sports fan), the other is not a Rose fan. pic.twitter.com/vKpwX8BGld
— jon greenberg (@jon_greenberg) October 19, 2016
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) October 19, 2016
The defense the jurors gave to Marsh is pretty weak:
"I didn’t know who Derrick Rose was before this trial," said Jared, Juro No. 3.
"I watch sports, but I'm not a Derrick Rose fan at all," added John, Juror No. 5.
"It was an experience," said Jennifer, Juror No. 4, referencing the photo-op.
The problem here has nothing to do with the type of case, the verdict or the jurors' fandom. It has to do with the honestly of the legal system. The judge and jury can say they acted objectively on this case, but rushing to make Knicks-Lakers jokes and to up their Instagram game moments after the trial does not make the judge and jury look totally objective.
When the trial began, this man was accused of rape. Two short weeks later, the jury was all smiles with him. It's not a good appearance for a Los Angeles court system that just saw the O.J. Simpson trial reborn this year on cable TV.
By the way, don't blame Rose for this part. Of course he is going to take photos with the jury. It makes him look like a nicer guy than the one we've been reading about who said he did not understand the word, "consent."
Rose will not play in the Knicks' Thursday night preseason game, the last before the regular season, at the Nets. The point guard is expected to suit up for Tuesday's season opener, the first game of the entire NBA season, at the defending champion Cavaliers.
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.