More Bad News For Derrick Rose: Late last night, the Chicago Bulls announced that guard Derrick Rose was experiencing some pain in his right knee and after an evaluation and MRI, it’s been determined that Rose has a medial meniscus tear in his knee. This is the same knee and meniscus that cost him the 2013 season.
The initial belief is that unlike the last tear, where Rose had the tear repaired, this time around he may opt to have the torn tissue removed, which means a much smaller recovery time that typically is three to six weeks.
There is also a belief that the tear is rather small in the grand scheme, which could bode well for a return this season.
The meniscus is a piece of fibrous tissue that serves as a cushion on the bottom part of the knee and disperses weight and friction in the knee joint between the tibia and femur.
These kinds of tears have become increasingly common in NBA point guards. Thunder guard Russell Westbrook had three surgeries on his meniscus before getting his knee right. Most players opt to have the torn tissue removed as the recurrence rate on repairs is pretty high for active players. The problem with removal is that it becomes degenerative as the tissues starts to sort of flake off over time.
Rose was told when he had his meniscus repair done in 2013 that there was a high probability of this occurring, but he opted for repair as a means to prolong his career.
Rose’s status going forward is still very much up in the air.
According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, the Bulls plan to share Rose’s workload among guards Kirk Hinrich and Aaron Brooks. The Bulls do have an open roster spot and could look to the free agent market to sign another point guard.
The Bulls have set no timetable for Rose’s return, other than to say surgery will be scheduled and a timeline for recovery will be established after that procedure.
The Bulls are currently 36-21 on the season and seemed to have turned the proverbial corner in many ways, holding a half game lead on the surging Cleveland Cavaliers for command of the Central Division.
There are 49 days left in the NBA season and the Bulls have 25 games in that span including 13 home and 12 away matchups. The Bulls will see 11 teams with a record at or above .500 and play 17 of their remaining games versus Eastern Conference teams.
Barring an utter collapse without Rose, the Bulls should still make the postseason; however, their window for a title run may have slammed shut.
Rondo And Carlisle Get Into It: Players and coaches bark at each other all the time, so that’s not really new or newsworthy.
However, last night, Dallas Mavericks guard Rajon Rondo, a pending free agent this July, got into a heated shouting match with Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle.
The exchange was so animated that it got noticed.
Historically, Rondo has gotten into it with virtually every coach he’s played for and Carlisle isn’t exactly the warmest, fuzziest guy in the league either. So this was bound to happen.
The question is what happens next?
Carlisle benched Rondo for the final 20 minutes of the game, and afterwards downplayed the seriousness of the exchange saying to Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com that he had moved on.
“Well, it’s an emotional game and we had a difference of opinion,” Carlisle said. “There was an exchange, and then, in my mind, it was over.”
Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki said that in his experience exchanges like the one Rondo and Carlisle had can sometimes be a good thing.
“Sometimes little dust-ups can even bring you together,” Nowitzki said. “I remember Coach had a dust-up with [Jason Terry] right before the playoffs in 2011, and that probably was the best thing that happened to us because Jet was on his best behavior throughout the whole playoffs. Sometimes stuff like that can bring both sides closer together.”
ESPN’s Marc Stein tweeted out a stat that likely sums up the source of the tension.
Rondo ranks dead last in the NBA in points per play at .65, followed by Charlotte Hornets guard Lance Stephenson at .68, recently signed Cleveland Cavaliers center Kendrick Perkins at .68 and the recently traded Milwaukee Bucks point guard Michael Carter-Williams at .71.
The Mavericks have maintained that re-signing Rondo was absolutely their plan this summer; however, since arriving in Dallas, Rondo has posted 9.0 points per game, 6.2 assists and 4.5 rebounds on 40.8 percent shooting from the field – arguably some of his worst production in recent years.
The Mavericks are 15-9 (.625) when Rondo plays significant minutes, so while his numbers are not great, the team is winning games.
The questions become could they win more without him and is he really worth the expected $15-$16 million price tag he’ll likely seek in free agency?
Dust ups between players and coaches happen far more frequently than are reported, so this isn’t exactly earth shattering news, but it does make the situation one to watch.
The Return Of The Kid: Yesterday, the Minnesota Timberwolves re-introduced Kevin Garnett to the local media.
During the introduction, Wolves radio voice Alan Horton reminded that Garnett still holds franchise records in every major category and was “the best player to ever wear a Wolves jersey,” which drew chuckles from Garnett as he sat sheepishly on a riser with team president Flip Sanders.
The banter between Garnett and the media was great, with Garnett acknowledging each media member with a, “How you doing?” or a quirky anecdote or comment about many of the same faces still being around the team.
Garnett was disarming and realistic, he wasn’t returning to the Wolves to save the franchise. He has a real sense of where he is at in his career and said a couple of times that he wanted to be the veteran leader in the locker room that former teammate (now coach) Sam Mitchell was for him when he came into the league.
Garnett refused to commit to playing beyond this season, saying he’d listen to his body and his family in the offseason and make a choice that’s right for him.
He also said leaving the Brooklyn Nets mid-season was a tough decision. He didn’t like to make these kinds of decisions mid-season, and he struggled with his own sense of loyalty to his teammates. He told the group that his business manager told him about the possibility of a return to the team that drafted him during the All-Star break. Garnett said he didn’t give it serious thought until a few days before the trade deadline, revealing that he didn’t get much sleep the night before.
Garnett revealed that he still has his house in Minnesota and that he has spent a lot of summers in the area. He said he really hadn’t ventured downtown since he played there, and was amazed at how much has changed.
Garnett was asked about rumors that he could be joining an ownership group at some point with Saunders to buyout current owner Glen Taylor. Garnett sheepishly pointed to Saunders and asked the reporter, “Did he ask you to ask me that?” Saunders too wouldn’t comment on the idea of Garnett being involved, but it’s pretty clear that’s part of the big-picture plan.
The Wolves are believed to have offered Garnett a two-year contract extension, showing how committed they are to keeping Garnett for the balance of his career.
Garnett was asked how he initially took the idea of returning to where it all started for him and he seriously stated that LeBron James may have shown the way, saying, “If LeBron can go home… Sh**, why can’t I?”
The Wolves will benefit from the return of Garnett in a lot of ways, mostly in the leadership category. Garnett was quick to say he was never the kind of guy to force himself on a teammate, but Saunders was equally clear that Garnett has positively impacted every team he’d been on and that having a franchise-type player that’s been there and done that would be hugely impactful for the young guys.
The Wolves didn’t get back the player they sent out in 2007, a multi-time All-Star in his prime, but what they did get was likely someone who can help swing things in a better direction and maybe their future owner.
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