Demarcus Cousins

Chris Webber emerges as mentor for DeMarcus Cousins


Chris Webber had All-Star years and put up big numbers on a contending team while in Sacramento — he’s looked back on as one of the team’s legendary players.

Now. But there were plenty of rough spots at the time. He didn’t really want to be traded there initially (because they had been a consistent loser at the time) and fans grew frustrated at times with his injuries and $127 million contract.

So it makes some sense that Webber has stepped forward as sort of a mentor for DeMarcus Cousins, the incredibly talented Kings big man who has had rough patches of his own already and didn’t really mesh with former coach Paul Westphal. In a note from the Boston Globe, Cousins said he appreciates Webber for just offering advice and not jumping on him with criticism.

“I have the utmost respect for C-Web, he’s a real person,’’ Cousins said. “He just gives me advice, tells me how to handle situations. He went through similar situations so of course he has advice for me. I guess you can say a big brother looking over me.’’

That’s a good big brother to have.

Cousins and current coach Keith Smart seem to get along much better, and Cousins play has improved of late. Next year is going to be very interesting for the Kings and Cousins as they start to approach the time when they have to start thinking about his contract after his rookie deal and what he deserves.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist taken to hospital after shoulder injury

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

We likely won’t know more about the extent of his injury until tomorrow, but if it was serious, that would be a major loss for the Hornets. Kidd-Gilchrist is their best perimeter defender and an important piece if they hope to compete for a playoff spot this year.

Derrick Rose expected to rejoin Bulls on Wednesday

Derrick Rose
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CHICAGO — Derrick Rose is nearing a return to practice with the Bulls. After undergoing surgery on Wednesday to repair a fractured left orbital suffered in practice on Tuesday, Rose’s recovery is going as expected and he’s expected to rejoin the team on Wednesday.

“The follow-up [exam] went very well,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said after practice on Saturday. “They’ve advised him to continue to let that site heal, and they think the best way for him to do that is to stay at home at this time. We plan on him being back on Wednesday morning.”

Rose won’t be able to participate in practice for another week after that — Hoiberg said the previously announced two-week timetable for returning to basketball activities remains on schedule — but with a radically different offense, there’s a lot to learn, and just being around the team to watch practices and learn the new play sets is important.

“We’re going to actually get over there and watch some film with him today,” Hoiberg said. “Because again, like we talked about [Friday], we’ve added new sets, new things, so we’ll get him caught up by a couple of coaches going over and seeing him at his house.”

The two-week timetable puts Rose’s return to basketball activity around next Wednesday, October 14. From there, it will be a matter of getting him back into game shape before Hoiberg is comfortable playing him in games.

Hoiberg said earlier this week that he is optimistic Rose will be able to play when the Bulls kick off the regular season at home on October 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.