Derrick Rose is obviously not what he used to be. After becoming the youngest MVP in league history, and subsequently leading his Bulls to the top record in the NBA, injuries derailed his career until he became a shell of what he once was.
Nowadays, while DRose is still a valuable player, he is far removed from his best days.
So it’s a good thing the Adidas contract he signed almost a decade ago is still paying him and his family millions of dollars.
It was after his MVP season in 2011 that he signed a 14-year deal with Adidas that totaled $185 million. It includes use of a private jet, a $250K salary to Rose’s brother Reggie, a payout to Rose’s best friend, and a $150k donation to an organization or Rose’s choice.
There are a lot of details in the contract Rose signed with Adidas, one of which protected the company if ROse is unable to play. For some reason, they have yet to invoke those protections, and it’s explained by Michael McCann on SI.com.
Adidas wisely included provisions that empowered the company to substantially reduce its financial obligations to Rose in the event his NBA career veered off course. Specifically, if he failed to achieve an “All Pro” award two years in a row, Adidas could reduce its payments to him by 50%.
Yet, as Jon Wertheim reveals in his story, Adidas repeatedly declined to invoke its reduction provision. While Adidas was under no obligation to pay Rose less money, it’s unclear why the publicly-traded company would not do so when presented with the opportunity. Adidas’ decision-making is especially hard to understand given Rose’s off-court controversies, which included a highly publicized civil trial for alleged sexual assault.
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. 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.
Considering the scandals and injuries that he has endured (all of which give Adidas power to suspend, terminate, or reduce ROse’s contract), it’s a wonder why they have yet to do take any action in the deal.
Perhaps it presents the company with a good opportunity to show loyalty to its partners. Rose, who uses his money to help the community, help his family and friends, and who is still a very widely known player in the game today, gets a lot of attention and respect from the community. He’s adored by the fans who are rooting for his story to end well.
Adidas is still benefiting from the deal, even if he’s not as marketable as he once was.
In return, they are hoping the guy support himself and his loved ones. It certainly seems like a “win-win” scenario.