Blake Griffin won last year’s dunk contest in an exciting and memorable way that most think will be difficult to top by any of the contestants participating in the event this year. Jumping over a car isn’t something we see every day, and last year, JaVale McGee said he had no shot to top it unless he jumped over an airplane next.
This year’s group of relative unknowns — Paul George, Jeremy Evans, Derrick Williams, and Chase Budinger — are going to have a tough time keeping the event interesting if they don’t bring some serious creativity to the Amway Center on Saturday night.
We caught up with Griffin Friday morning at the Rising Stars Challenge practice, where he had some advice for the contestants, commented on Jeremy Lin (that’s going to be a theme this weekend, unfortunately), and let us know what his favorite hoops movie is (again, All-Star weekend is a media free-for-all, so lots of “wacky” questions).
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Eight days ago, Derrick Rose had surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone suffered in training camp. The Bulls said he would be ready to resume basketball activities in two weeks, and in the meantime will rejoin practice soon. That part is still on schedule — head coach Fred Hoiberg says Rose will be with the team when they return to Chicago on Monday following a two-game preseason road trip, but unless the swelling in his eye dies down, it could be a little longer before he can start practicing again.
Via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
Rose update: Swelling around eye remains. Scheduled to be back w/ team next week. Activity could be delayed beyond 2-week window.
It’s not ideal, but since there’s no structural damage to Rose’s face, once he’s cleared to resume practicing, it’s just a matter of getting back into game shape before he can start playing in games. The team is still optimistic he’ll be able to play opening night against the Cavaliers on October 27.