That just hurts watching it again.
The good news about the nasty fall Kyrie Irving took late in the USA’s blowout win over Ukraine was that nothing twisted, nothing turned. It was just a hard fall.
That’s what Irving said, and that he’s sore but fine, he told reporters in Barcelona as passed along by Sam Amick of the USA Today.
“I’m all right,” Irving told reporters inside the same Palau Sant Jordi venue where the American Dream Team made hoops history during the 1992 Olympics. “I mean it was a little bit of a concern when it happened. I was a little bit worried. It was a tough fall on my back, just a light bruise that I took in the fourth quarter. But it’s part of the game … I’m all right. I’m a little bit more sore than I thought I would be, but like I said it was just a tough fall that I took yesterday and I’m just glad I’m OK.”
Irving will start against Mexico, but this is a game where we could end up seeing more Derrick Rose in what will be another blowout win. After that Team USA has two days off, so Irving should be fine.
Rose, by the way, has shown better energy and defense as the World Cup has gone along, but he still has a lot of rust on his shot — just 25 percent shooting through five games. There have been moments of explosion, but still a lot of rust. Bulls fans, this is stuff he would have gone through in training camp when having to shoulder a much heavier load. The World Cup remains a perfect place for him to ease back into the NBA game. It’s far too early to judge what he will look like in December or February or next playoffs right now. So stop trying. (Suggestion to some Bulls fans: Maybe you want to pull for the guy on your team to succeed rather than rooting for failure. Just a thought. Try and enjoy the ride.)