Officially, Luol Deng is listed as day-to-day by Tom Thibodeau and the Chicago Bulls. He was back at the Bulls practice facility on Thursday.
But he said he has lost 15 pounds though this medical ordeal — which was much worse than the flu that was originally announced — and he didn’t look like a guy who could play, or contribute a whole lot if he did.
His entire interview is above, but here is the money quote via Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com.
“I tried to shoot a little bit and I struggled. I couldn’t do it. We’ll see,” he said after the Bulls’ practice Thursday afternoon at the Berto Center. “I want to play, but I don’t know what I can do. I haven’t done anything. It really sucks.
“It’s really my first day out of the house and out of the hospital. I haven’t really left my bed much or done much,” the NBA’s back-to-back minutes-per-game leader added. “I’m weak and I have headaches; when I’m moving around a lot, my headache increases. That’s really the main thing.”
Deng’s ordeal was not a lot of fun.
“It all started with I wasn’t feeling well. I guess I had the flu. But my symptoms were really bad when I went to the hospital. They wanted to make sure I didn’t have meningitis, which I’m thankful for. They wanted to make sure. I did the spinal tap and after that, I just didn’t respond well. I started having severe headaches, was struggling to walk. I started feeling really weak. I started throwing up, constant diarrhea. I couldn’t control my body really. Because of that, I lost a lot of weight. And still just trying to get back, just trying to get right. I still don’t feel right,” he explained.
The other key injury to the Bulls during these playoffs was to Kirk Hinrich, who had an MRI to look at his injured calf and Thibodeau didn’t sound optimistic he would be back for Game 3 Friday night against the Heat.
Dwyane Wade has earned his status as an elder statesman, the E.F. Hutton kind of veteran who speaks and everybody listens.
Rookie Justise Winslow is listening.
Winslow (who should have gone higher in this draft) is a perfect fit for the Heat and he’s going to be part of their rotation off the bench from the start of the season (along with Josh McRoberts and Amare Stoudemire). Wade has already fully stepped into the mentor role with Winslow working with him on post moves, reports Jason Lieser at the Palm Beach Post.
“As his career develops, hopefully he’s able to do multiple things on the floor, but right now there’s gonna be certain things (Erik Spoelstra) wants him to do, and some of those things I’m good at,” Wade said. “I’m just passing down knowledge to someone who I think could be good at things that I have strengths at. It’s gonna take a while, but if he figures it out at 21, he’s ahead of the curve. I figured it out at like 27.
“All of us are where we’re at because someone before us helped us. They helped by letting us sit there and watch film with them or having conversations with them. If he’s a student of it and he really wants to know, I’m a pretty decent teacher in certain areas.”
This is what you want out of a veteran leader and some of the young teams out there have done an excellent job adding this kind of mentor — Kevin Garnett in Minnesota may be the best example. Someone who can pass on his wisdom and show the team’s young players how to be a professional and win in the NBA.
It’s a little different for Winslow, he and the Heat are more in a win-now mode, but he should be able to contribute to that.
Bill Bridges, a star as a Kansas Jayhawk who went on to have a 12-year NBA career that included being part of the 1975 Golden State Warriors championship team, has passed away, according to the University of Kansas.
Bridges was an undersized power forward at 6’6″ but he was a beast on the boards who averaged 11.9 rebounds a game for his career and more than 13 a game for six straight years at the peak of his career. That 11.9 per game average is still 27th all-time in NBA history.
A New Mexico native, Bridges was a three-time All-Star (all as a member of the Hawks), two-time All-NBA Defensive team, and was part of the 1975 Warriors title team. Besides the Hawks (St. Louis and Atlanta) and Warriors, Bridges played for the Sixers and Lakers.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends.