Andrew Wiggins was selected with the number one overall pick in this summer’s draft by the Cavaliers, and was forced to conduct awkward interviews in his new team’s jersey, even though the likelihood of him ever playing in Cleveland seemed to be diminishing on a daily basis.
Wiggins, of course, will be involved as a primary piece in Cleveland’s trade-to-be with the Timberwolves for Kevin Love. But because it can’t be official for 30 days after the signing of his rookie contract, his jerseys were being sold (for the most part) as if he’d be with the Cavaliers by the time next season began.
But we all knew that was a long shot, and the company responsible for actually manufacturing these jerseys decided to hedge its bets.
A spokesman for Fanatics, which also services the NBA’s online store, said Thursday that the company — which specializes in on-demand customization — actually never made the No. 21 Wiggins Cavs jerseys that fans ordered from the sites.
Spokesman Meier Raivich said the site had up until a month after Wiggins signed (until Aug. 23) to deliver the jerseys, but as reports swirled that Wiggins could be traded in a deal for the Timberwolves’Kevin Love, as was confirmed Thursday, the company decided to be cautious and not print the replicas.
That’s what appeared to be going on when the jerseys were briefly said to be “discontinued,” but the NBA said that wasn’t the case.
Regardless of what the reality is (i.e., whether or not the manufacturer had a tip that Wiggins would in fact be dealt), this was a smart business decision. Anyone who ordered a replica jersey would have received one eventually, and those who ordered custom ones that have already shipped are eligible to return them for a full refund if that’s what they choose to do.
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.
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.