In an interview with USA Today, MVP point guard for the Chicago Bulls Derrick Rose - who is currently sidelined with a torn ACL injury he suffered last May - admitted he could miss the entire 2012-13 season. Many NBA fans assumed it wasn't a matter of if, but rather when the two-time All-Star would make his triumphant return to the basketball court this year as the news comes as a bit of a surprise. His camp, however, has remained steadfast for the past several months reiterating that Rose would not return until he is completely healed. He admitted that he would not return until he was "110 per cent healthy."
While this news may disappoint NBA fans everywhere and put a damper on Bulls' fans expectations, it should not be ridiculed. I've seen a vocal minority begin to question Rose's toughness and commitment to the team. That's ridiculous. Derrick Rose is the leader of the Chicago Bulls on the court and has more passion for the game than the average NBA player. He's not saying these things because he doesn't want to play - on the contrary - he wants to be able to go back to playing how he's accustomed to. The timing on this announcement is just right. We were inching closer and closer to that so-called return date many had given for Rose (a date that he never remotely acknowledged) and before people could get too rowdy about it, he put things in perspective. Rose has been traveling with his team all month and been taking part in full-contact practices, but that doesn't mean he's ready for the grind of playing 40 minutes against opponents who will be gunning for him. Rose claimed that he's currently "in the high 80s" in terms of percentage of recovery and is still "far away" from returning.
• On Monday, I wrote a Blurbs piece documenting the spectacular shooting run LeBron James has had. He continued it again Tuesday night when he led his Miami Heat to a 117-104 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. LeBron scored 30 points on 11-15 shooting as he became the first player in NBA history to score 30 points with at least 60 per cent shooting in six straight games. The Heat are sizzling and LeBron is making history. If he keeps this up during the second half and into the playoffs, the odds of stopping them from repeating as NBA Champions will be very slim.
• Speaking of teams that may have the challenge of stopping the Heat, the West leading San Antonio Spurs played with all their best players against the Cleveland Cavaliers last night, but it was a surprising name that stole the show. Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker played together for the first time since mid-January but it was Kawhi Leonard who lifted them to victory thanks to a go-ahead three-pointer with three seconds left. The shot gave the Spurs a 96-95 lead and ultimately the victory.
• MVP candidate Carmelo Anthony may sit out the All-Star game on Sunday due to an arm injury. Anthony says he has a "deep" arm contusion that he suffered on Wednesday night. The starting forward for the Eastern All-Stars will not force it and claimed he felt numbness throughout his last game while struggling with his shot missing 19 of his 24 shots for just 12 points. Hedo Turkoglu of the Orlando Magic has been suspended 20 games for testing positive for steroids. The NBA has announced Turkoglu tested positive for methenolone - an anabolic steroid. The Turkish swing-man admitted using the substance and apologized to his team and fans.
• Top NBA prospect Nerlens Noel of Kentucky will miss the rest of the NCAA season thanks to a gruesome torn ACL in his left leg. The freshman was considered by many to be a potential top overall pick in this summer's NBA Draft and his projected recovery is set for six to eight months. Noel suffered the injury after blocking a layup and landing awkwardly as he stumbled into the basket support out of bounds.
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-- Be on the lookout tomorrow for a collaboration piece I've done, posted by our very own Allen Strk as we discuss who are the midseason NBA award winners!