Derrick Rose
via Keith Allison / CC-BY-SA-2.0

Derrick Rose is far from the play-maker he was back in 2011, when he was named league MVP. This season, he’s played in just 15 of 52 games for the Cleveland Cavaliers. While his team is only paying him $2.1 million, compared to his $21.3 million contract back in 2016, Sport’s Illustrated reveals that his Adidas contract is keeping him paid: to the tune of $11 million.

A leaked 40-page contract reveals Adidas rates for the former All-Star, which began during the 2011-2012 season and runs all the way to the 2024-2025 season, when it’s set to expire. Despite Rose not being able to stay healthy since 2011, Adidas has paid Rose $12 million every season, from the 2012-13 season to the 2016-17 season.

Rose signed a long term deal with Adidas in 2012, after he became the youngest MVP in NBA history at the age of 22. Yet, soon after the contract was signed, Rose tore his ACL, which caused his career to rapidly decline.

As SI’s legal analyst Michael McCann explains:

“Back in 2011, Adidas likely figured that Rose would be in the prime of his career during the 2016-17 season. He would be 28 years old that season and 28 is often the age when an NBA player is at his peak. The company probably also reasoned that by the middle part of the decade, Rose’s marketability would be similar to that of established superstars like LeBron James or Kobe Bryant. That may seem hard to believe now, but remember, Rose had just become the youngest recipient of the MVP award in league history. He was the real deal, it seemed. Adidas did not know—and could not have known—that Rose’s best days were behind him and that his peak year would occur when he was only 22.”

According to the details of the contract, Adidas has access and the right to use Rose’s social media to promote its products, has Rose contractually obligated to wear the brand or formal wear brands associated with the company in all NBA appearances, and the rights to either dock pay or even terminate the contract under certain clauses.

The contract also provides a salary for those close to the player as well, giving Derrick Roses’ older brother Reggie a $250,000 to $300,000-a-year salary as a consultant and Roses’ best friend Randall Hampton between $50,000 to $75,000-a-year for “consulting services.”

What has many — including Jon Wertheim, who broke the story — confused is the reason why Adidas has not invoked it’s right to dock Roses’s pay for not appearing in 41 out of 82 games, which happened in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons, or revoke the contract under a moral clause, due to Roses’ sexual assault allegations in 2015. According to SI’s McCann, the company has every right to do so, yet chooses to not invoke those rights.

“The company may be concerned that reducing Rose’s payments could cause its other endorsed athletes to question the company’s loyalty to its players,” McCann writes. Yet, as Wertheim writes, Adidas terminated its deal with Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier last December, merely because he wore a pair of Nike sneakers in a pregame shootaround.

While Adidas has not commented on the leak, Rose contends that he is continuing his career for the love of the sport, and not, the financial benefits.  Man, I don’t care about [that],” Rose said. “Not to be rude, [but] I don’t care about no f*cking money.”