When Derrick Rose last spoke with reporters, he was calling his doubters fools and refusing to declare himself out for the playoffs if the Chicago Bulls made them. He was resilient and relatively upbeat given the situation.
But he also walked to and from that Dec. 5 news conference with crutches, as seen on the right.
Rose’s rehab has been quiet since, but there he’s made one breakthrough.
K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
Derrick Rose’s rehabilitation from surgery to repair his torn right meniscus is progressing, and coach Tom Thibodeau said Rose no longer is using crutches.
“He’s coming along fine,” Thibodeau said. “He’s doing more and more, but he still has a long way to go.”
At first this seems like great news – and it is for anyone who enjoys watching Rose play – but it’s also a reality check. There’s a huge gap between walking without crutches and playing in the NBA.
If Chicago – which holds the Eastern Conference’s fifth-best record and a 3.5-game cushion for playoff positioning – makes the postseason, I just can’t see Rose playing. Maybe that makes me a fool.
The next step, according to Johnson, is Rose travelling with the team, because the Bulls want Rose around his teammates during his rehabilitation. After back-to-back season-ruining injuries for Rose, that’s probably best. He can’t be filled with happy thoughts when they’re on the road without him.
But simply travelling, like losing crutches, is just another reminder how far Rose is from playing.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.
For two decades, Kobe Bryant saw everyone and everything as an obstacle to overcome: The Pacers, Sixers, Nets, Magic, Celtics, Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich, Smush Parker, a torn Achilles. It didn’t matter. Kobe’s work ethic and drive had him rising above it all.
His focus hasn’t changed now. Kobe was on the Jim Rome show, and the topic of the new-look Warriors with Kevin Durant came up, along with the “woe is me” attitude of some players (and plenty of owners and GMs).
“I would have thought less about myself if I looked at that move and said, ‘That’s unfair,'” he said. “If you’re a real competitor, you look at that and say, ‘OK, lace ’em up. Let’s go. I don’t care how many players you have over there; we’re still going to take you down.'”
Easier said than done to make that happen, but that attitude is the only one to have if you think you have a chance. You can be sure LeBron James is thinking that way and telling his Cavaliers teammates the same.
We’re going to miss Kobe.