adidas unveils the D Rose 4: Launch event recap

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CHICAGO — There’s an excitement level that seems palpable surrounding the return of Derrick Rose to the NBA this season, and that feeling is intensified even more in the city of Chicago, where adidas held a monster of a launch event for Rose’s latest signature shoe, the D Rose 4.

The United Center was where it all went down, and a large media contingent, thousands of high school-aged kids, rapper Big Sean and Rose himself were all in attendance for what was an overwhelming show of support for one of the game’s most exciting and explosive players.

The event began in a space normally used as a private lounge on game days, but adidas transformed the area deep inside the arena into a showcase of the latest gear in the D Rose collection.

Once we spent some time checking out the gear and getting a few minutes to interview members of the adidas team and Rose himself, it was time to head into the arena for the main event, which was essentially a giant pep rally all for one very important person.

Rose got the full game night intro treatment, and briefly addressed the crowd before things got started.

The afternoon’s show included performances from Big Sean, whose songs (if you’re unfamiliar) are thick with R-rated lyrics that he managed to edit out as much as possible during the live versions. A funny moment came in the middle of one of his final songs, when even he seemed surprised by the language included when forced to think about it while playing in front of a teenaged audience.

“I didn’t realize there were so many cuss words,” he said into the mic mid-verse.

But the kids knew every song, and even when Big Sean omitted a word or two, it could be heard easily being sung by thousands of his fans.

Highlights of the event can be seen in the clip below.

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The day was a celebration of Rose, but it was also about introducing his latest signature shoe to the world. Rose was so pleased with the way the D Rose 4 turned out that he had a hard time identifying just one favorite part.

“I think the whole shoe is nice,” Rose said. “It’s kind of like my whole personality into one shoe. The front of it is clean, you could wear it with anything if you kind of put your pant leg over it. The back is kind of crazy, just like me on the court — I play aggressive, attacking. So for them to put both sides of my personality into the shoe, I think that’s what makes my shoe special.”

The D Rose 4 features a tailored design, and will launch October 10 for $140 at adidas.com.

Fans can join the Derrick Rose conversation at the adidas Basketball Facebook Page and on Twitter and Instagram with @adidashoops, #DRose4.

It was truly a special event for a special player, both in terms of his on-court talent as well as his very personal connection to the city he grew up in, and the fans who can’t wait to continue to show their support when they see him next — starting at point guard once again for his hometown Bulls.


D Rose 4 Launch

Joel Embiid out with left knee soreness for Game 3 vs. Nets

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The Philadelphia 76ers will be without Joel Embiid on Thursday night as they take on the Brooklyn Nets in Game 3 of their first round series.

Embiid is battling left knee soreness and although he had a statistically-important performance as the Sixers took Game 2, it was obvious he was in some kind of reduced state of ability.

Veteran center Greg Monroe will start in Embiid’s place, but it will be hard for the Sixers to match Embiid’s production. The Cameroonian star is Philadelphia’s best player, and the 76ers are a hot and cold team.

Not having Embiid on the floor will seriously alter how they respond to the spunky Nets, who already took Game 1 from the higher-seeded Sixers.

The fact that Embiid needs to rest is also drawing some ire from folks on social media. The question is why Embiid did not rest earlier in the series — or even the end of the regular season when he was in and out of the lineup — and prepare for the coming playoff run?

However things go on Thursday, folks around the league will have their eyes glued to the injury report to see updates on Embiid’s status.

Grizzlies’ Kyle Anderson undergoes thoracic outlet decompression surgery

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Kyle Anderson was playing a solid role off the bench for the Grizzlies this season, 8 points and 5.8 rebounds a game, serving as a secondary ball handler and shot creator. Slo-mo was doing his thing.

However, by the end of January, the pain radiating from his shoulder — something he now says he had been playing through for a couple of years — got to be too much. He never played another game after Jan. 30.

Thursday he had thoracic outlet decompression surgery to relieve the problem. Anderson is expected to make a full recovery and be ready to go next training camp.

For comparison, this is the same surgery the Lakers’ Brandon Ingram had.

Anderson is on a very reasonable contract, three years and $28 million remaining. He can be part of what is going to be built in Memphis going forward, but if they are tearing down and rebuilding — meaning a summer trade of Mike Conley — he could bring back assets in a trade.

Either way, he should be healthy and ready to go next summer.

Jerry West on NBA draft: ‘I don’t know how you could pass Zion Williamson’

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A rumor started buzzing around NBA Twitter last week, a second-hand report that NBA legend and Clippers’ consultant Jerry West was praising Murray State guard Ja Morant, saying he would take him in front of the presumptive No. 1 pick Zion Williamson.

The source of that rumor: comedian Jeff Garlin, saying it on the Dan Patrick Show.

Jerry West himself went on the Dan Patrick show Thursday and shot that down saying “it Would Be Like Passing Jordan in the draft.”

Two players were picked in front Jordan in the 1984 Draft. The Houston Rockets took Hakeem Olajuwon, and while Jordan went on to be Jordan nobody can fault the Rockets for how this picked turned out — two titles and a Hall of Fame big man in your organization is an amazing draft.

The one everyone talks about was Portland at No. 2, when executive Stu Inman and coach Jack Ramsey decided they were set on the wing in Clyde Drexler and needed a big man, so they selected Sam Bowie out of Kentucky. Bowie might have had an excellent NBA career if injuries had not plagued him, but he was no Jordan. It’s the ultimate NBA cautionary tale — draft the best player on the board, not according to need.

Williamson is projected by teams as the best player on the board. By far. Even the Morant fans have him a clear second. Plus, Williamson comes in hugely popular and a brand unto himself — he will sell tickets and sponsorships. Not drafting him would be a stupid business decision, not to mention a basketball one.

Whoever lands second in next month’s draft lottery will do well with Morant. Whoever is third will likely get R.J. Barrett out of Duke and… let’s just say that’s where it gets interesting.

Likely top-10 pick Jarrett Culver of Texas Tech declares for NBA draft

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We all knew this was coming, but on Thursday he made it official:

Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver is declaring for the NBA Draft, where he is expected to be a top-10 pick. He made the announcement at a rally on the Tech campus Thursday, then took his message to social media.

Culver, a 6’6” wing player, passes the eye test for an NBA wing, he can shoot from the outside (he only hit 30.4 percent from three this season, but it was 38 percent the season before and his stroke looks good), he can put the ball on the floor and get inside, and he may have the best feel for the game of any wing prospect in this draft. The only question is athleticism — he’s not a classically explosive, and the NBA is loaded with freak athletes on the wing.

Still, Culvert looks like a rotation wing player with the potential to be more, and that should land him comfortably in the top 10 in this draft (likely 5-8).