Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose no longer using crutches


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.

LeBron says “get it done” message was for both Cavaliers, Thompson

LeBron James
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Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.

So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.

Get it done!!!! Straight up. #MissMyBrother @realtristan13

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.

When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.

At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.

The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.

China basketball qualifies for 2016 Olympics

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China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.

China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.

Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.

This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.

The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.