Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose sits out first Team USA practice at West Point in precautionary move


Derrick Rose played 24 minutes for Team USA on Saturday night against Brazil (and played well), then team USA packed up and went to New York for a series of practices at West Point and some games at Madison Square Garden.

To start that off, Mike Krzyzewski gave Rose Monday off from practice (he was the only of the regular players in street clothes).

However, before everyone in Chicago flips out, know this is precautionary and was planned according to those at the practice, such as Marc Stein of ESPN.

ESPN’s Fran Frascilla said pretty much the exact same thing on the broadcast of the practice. Rose is coming off multiple knee surgeries, even Tom Thibodeau is going to need to rest him this this season at points.

Rose has been impressive so far, showing flashes of his MVP self, and has has moved into the starting lineup for Team USA. This has looked like a great place for him to return. But there’s no reason to push him too hard yet. The USA has a couple friendlies this week and more practices, and things get serious at the end of the month.

This was the smart play by Coach K.

Pelicans’ Alexis Ajinca out at least a month

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The Pelicans held Alexis Ajinca out of EuroBasket due to an Achilles injury, but they let him play in their preseason opener.

Pelicans release:

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that center Alexis Ajinca is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a right hamstring strain. The injury occurred during the second quarter of the Pelicans’ preseason opener against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday, Oct. 3.

Ajinca figured to play a major role backing up Omer Asik. Could this mean New Orleans dusts off Kendrick Perkins for actual minutes?

Let’s hope Alvin Gentry opts to use Anthony Davis more at center instead. That will allow the Pelicans to play faster and get more of their talented perimeter players on the floor at once.

Stephen A. Smith: ‘Kevin Durant is the one that’s lying’


Stephen A. Smith had the first and last words in his backandforth with Kevin Durant, but the ESPN commentator is still going.

Smith actually makes some good points in that video, at least if you can look past the vague threats. He doesn’t need to speak to Durant to report on Durant, and Durant doesn’t necessarily know which of his friends and family talks to Smith.

But Smith is dead wrong about Durant ending this by signing a contract extension. The largest extension Durant could sign is three years, $69,887,423 ($23,295,808 per season). If he waits until the offseason to re-sign, his max contract projects to be five years, $144,536,025 ( $28,907,205 per season). I don’t know whether Durant wants to stay in Oklahoma, but even if he does, an extension is not a real consideration.