Sports Illustrated has released its list of 2013's 50 highest paid American athletes and coming in at No. 7 (per SI.com) despite not playing a single minute is Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, who earns $33.4 million.
The former MVP has sat out the entire 2013 season up to this point while recovering from an ACL injury he suffered in Game 1 of the 2012 NBA Playoffs.
Even though he was medically cleared to play back in March (per ESPN.com), Rose has said his mental state is not where it needs to be for him to take the court, so Bulls fans have played the waiting game all year.
The Bulls' season will likely reach its end on Wednesday without Rose seeing any game action, as Chicago is in Miami for Game 5 of their second-round playoff series with the Heat. The Bulls are down 3-1 in the series and are ripe to be beaten again tonight.
With fans and media questioning Rose's character due to a return that never happened in the 2012-13 season, the news of Rose's earnings is sure to damage Rose's reputation even further.
Throughout the playoffs, the Bulls have fought tooth-and-nail each game, leaving everything they have on the court. From fighting through injury to battling sickness, the Bulls have become a media darling for how hard they have played with a limited cast this postseason.
As the Bulls showed incredible will and played their hearts out each and every game, an increasingly negative light was put on Rose as he sat on the bench in street clothes.
Does Rose deserve the money he made in 2013? Sure. His play up until the injury earned him the big contract and he deserves every penny.
Even though his reputation took a hit in 2013, his pocket book didn't and that will have Rose laughing all the way to the bank.
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