Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Sun-Times’

Rose Running, Ready For Early Return?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The holiday season in Chicago will be much brighter if the Bears take care of their business on the gridiron and the Bulls get closer to the return of the face of their franchise, Derrick Rose.

The Chicago Sun-TimesJoe Cowley reports, via sources, that Rose is just weeks away from joining the Bulls on the practice floor.

Rose is doing his part, he was “sprinting in bursts” after practice Monday, per Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com. It’s the latest step in a long and arduous rehabilitation process for Rose, who tore his left ACL in Game 1 of the Bulls’ playoff series against Philadelphia in April.

The eight months since the injury (he actually had surgery May 12) have been rough on the Bulls (8-7), who have scrapped their way back to the top of the Central Division standings after an uneven two-week stretch of basketball early this season.

An earlier-than-anticipated return for Rose, however, would do more than just lift spirits in Chicago.

“I think he looks really good,” Bulls center Joakim Noah told Friedell. “He looks great, actually.”

Noah has been one of the anchors for the Bulls in Rose’s absence, which has forced the Bulls to lean harder on their defensive fundamentals and to search out different catalysts to sustain them:

Aside from a major advertising campaign from adidas, Rose has stayed out of the public eye by design. He hasn’t traveled much with the Bulls this season and has not formally spoken with reporters since media day early in October. Noah admitted that like many of his teammates there are still times when he looks on the floor and still can’t believe his close friend and teammate isn’t out there with him.

“Of course,” Noah said. “I think everybody does. But at the same time it’s also knowing that if we keep working individually, as a whole, we’ll be better for the long run. It’s always about looking at the big picture. There’s a lot of basketball to be played and the exciting thing about it is he’ll be back.”

Even without Rose on the floor, Noah is in the midst of a career season averaging 13 points, 10 rebounds and four assists a game in close to 40 minutes a night. While it’s been strange for him to play without Rose, he is motivated by seeing his friend’s recent workouts because he realizes Rose will be back in the near future.

“I think that this season there’s been highs and lows,” Noah said. “First of all, it’s been different playing without Derrick, but it also makes you (realize) … what I love about playing with Derrick is I feel like it’s always more than basketball. Just him being from Chicago, it gives me more motivation and if things go well I feel like he’ll be back and that’s exciting. But right now we’re trying to hold the fort down and we’re playing as hard as we can every night. Win or lose I feel like we’re giving everything we got and I think if we keep doing that we’re going to have success.”

As valiant as the effort has been, the Bulls need a healthy (or as close to it as possible) Rose to fight for their spot among the Eastern Conference and league elite.

Heat Star Praises MJ As The G.O.A.T.

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – These same words from a different player, say Kobe Bryant or LeBron James, might have caused an actual stir in the basketball universe.

But when Chicago native Dwyane Wade acknowledges that Michael Jordan still has the title of greatest of all-time tightly in his grasp, as he told the Chicago Sun-Times over the weekend:

‘‘Michael is the greatest player I’ve ever seen play. I think LeBron is in that conversation of one day becoming. It’s all speculation, in a sense. He has a long way to go. He knows that. He has one championship. Michael has six! There’s a lot to say about that. LeBron is a dominant player. . . . But Michael Jordan is the greatest of all time.’’

… it barely registers as a blip on the hoops radar.

Maybe it’s the Windy City connection or the fact that Wade’s ties to Jordan and his brand run deep. But Wade’s praise being received as a statement of fact is a bit surprising, given the legions of fans of both Bryant and James who believe one of those current stars has legitimate claim to the title of G.O.A.T.

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Rose Demands Better From Bulls

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Debate his MVP candidacy all you want, but don’t anyone question the leadership ability of Bulls All-Star Derrick Rose.

We’re not hearing it, not in the hideout and not today.

Because Rose is doing the walking and talking for the Bulls this season, guiding them to the best record in the Eastern Conference and demanding even better from his team even now with the regular season winding down.

The Celtics are coming to the United Center tonight (8 p.m. ET on TNT) and Rose insists that the Bulls’ best lately is just not good enough, telling the Chicago Sun-Times after a lackluster home win over the Suns:

“A win is a win. But right now we’re not moving in the right direction. If we’re trying to do something special, playing like this at home, we can’t do that.”

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Rose Ready To Lead Windy City Revival

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Not that we needed any co-signers for the Derrick Rose-4-MVP campaign this season, but when Michael Jordan endorses a candidate … do you need anything else?

The Bobcats owner witnessed the movement first hand last night, with Rose and the Bulls pounding Jordan’s bunch in a 101-84 win in Charlotte.

Jordan declared Rose the “MVP of the season.” And then added, “He deserves it. He’s playing that well. And if he doesn’t get it, you’ll see how I felt a lot of years.”

This came hours after Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf made a declaration of his own, telling the Chicago Sun-Times, “We have an outstanding coach, an outstanding bunch of players, the team is deep, and if we stay healthy, we have an awfully good chance of winning at least four championships.”

When you already have six fingers covered, courtesy of Jordan, Scottie Pippen and the Bulls of the 1990s, you know of what you speak. But Rose isn’t shrinking from the hype. The hometown kid is the unquestioned leader of the Windy City Revival. The fact that he’s embraced the role is what’s most impressive and also most remarkable for a player that before this season seemed interested in anything but trying to fill the gigantic void left by Jordan.

“I wish, man,” Rose told the Sun-Times when informed of Jordan’s endorsement. “‘It’s a great that he said that. It’s an honor. We’re just trying to keep winning. The award will come if we keep winning. We’re trying to play hard and play together. We just have to keep playing aggressive, and play with an edge.”

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