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Derrick Rose Responds to Dwight Howard’s Chicago Comments

Before Derrick Rose torched the Wizards for 35 points, he publicly flirted back with Dwight Howard’s recent comments about a possible move to Chicago.

“Me and Dwight definitely have a relationship, especially because of adidas. I know our market and the city speaks for itself, if someone was interested to come to the Chicago Bulls,” Rose said of the Magic’s All-Star center. “Dwight, he’s a great player. Who wouldn’t want to play with him, but you never know what’s going to happen.”

Rose’s reticent character has refused, in the past, to play a role in coaxing superstars to Chicago.  In the new buddy-buddy era of the NBA, Rose resolutely opposed actively engaging Lebron James and Dwyane Wade in the summer of 2010.

Today’s comment, albeit a polite response to Dwight’s, does mark a slight deviation from the norm—very much like Howard’s.  Perhaps this indirect back-and-forth winking will materialize into an actual possibility, but for the time being there are still a lot of obstacles preventing this union, the biggest one being the Magic’s reluctance to create a conference powerhouse for years to come.

Video Source:  CSN Chicago.

Dwight Howard Discusses Move to Bulls

On the same day the Chicago Bulls visited and lost to the Miami Heat, Dwight Howard addressed a potential move to Chicago with the Tribune’s Vaughn McClure by stating the following:

“If I could play with Derrick [Rose] right now, and God wanted that to happen, it will happen.” – DH12

While Howard’s comments do not, in any way, confirm an interest in playing with Chicago, it might be the first time that he hasn’t publicly resorted to referencing his original team wish-list of New Jersey, Dallas or L.A.

These comments come a day after publicly calling out his teammates after a 93-67 loss to the New Orleans Hornets.

Said Howard of his teammates:

I look at guys and they don’t look like they want to play. I told them at halftime, ‘If you don’t want to play, just stay in the locker room, because it don’t make sense for a team who we should beat to just demolish us.’ – Dwight Howard

For many Bulls fans, despite holding the best record in the East, a Howard-Rose tandem would be a dream come true.  Today’s loss at Miami served to reinforce Chicago’s lack of a second scoring option.  Derrick Rose, as great as he is on his own, will not be able to carry the Bulls in a seven game series against the Miami Heat.

Word on the street, however, is that the Orlando Magic are considering retaining Howard’s services through at least the trade deadline, if not the entire season in a last-ditch effort to convince Howard to stay.

At the very least, these most recent quotes from Howard give Chicago a lining of hope that perhaps Superman will consider teaming up with the youngest MVP in the league for a possible dynasty run.

Eric Gordon Rejects Hornets’ Extension Offer

The New Orleans Hornets and Eric Gordon could not reach an agreement on a four-year extension prior to Wednesday’s extension signing deadline.  This opens up the door for Gordon to become a restricted free-agent at the end of the season, but it also leaves the Hornets with the option to match any offer made to the surging guard.

Gordon was sidelined with a knee injury after having played a total of two games after being traded to the Hornets, along with a package of former Clippers, in exchange for all-star point guard, Chris Paul.

Prior to being traded to the league-owned Hornets, Gordon’s value was increasing thanks to surging numbers with the Clippers.  Offensive productivity, however, has been accompanied by a history of injury.  It makes sense for the NOLA to reserve max-money offers for players with talent and less blemishes on their health record.  Should they choose, the Hornets could also attempt to swing a trade involving Gordon prior to the March 15 trade deadline.

In a statement released Thursday, Gordon stated the following:

We all worked hard on the extension, but sometimes business is business. Right now my sole focus is on staying in great shape, and making sure I get back to 100 percent health as quickly as possible, so I can return to playing and helping my teammates and Coach Monty win games. That is really what it is all about right now for me. – Eric Gordon

Given the delicate state of overpaying players, something this year’s lockout failed to resolve, it is very probable that Gordon will end up with more favorable financial terms at the end of this season, in addition to having a say in the matter of where he hopes to play.  Many speculate he will return to his home state of Indiana, where the Pacers could/would make a run at him.

Best of luck to Eric, I hope he gets what he deserves.  It’s a shame the Clippers gave in to the Hornets’ demands when dealing Chris Paul.

Derrick Rose and Thibodeau Agree, Reigning MVP Must Be More Aggressive

Two days after an uncharacteristically sloppy loss to the Golden State Warriors, Derrick Rose vowed to change his unselfish approach to this season.

In an interview by KC Johnson of the Chicago Tribute, Rose asserted the following:

I just have to go now.  I didn’t know I was playing that unselfish.  I got caught up into getting everybody involved. I got away from doing what I did last year. Thank God I caught it the second game. I’ve been playing too unselfish. I have to always attack. – Derrick Rose

Coach Tom Thibodeau agreed with the change of direction, conceding that the Chicago Bulls are not as effective when Rose plays un-Rose-like.

We’re a lot better when he’s aggressive.  That puts enormous pressure on an opponent’s defense. When he’s attacking, we’re getting easy baskets, we’re getting to the line, he’s getting people into foul trouble. We want him attacking at both ends. We want him attacking on defense also. He’s trying to get others involved early, which is good. But when they put two on the ball, that’s easy offense. – Tom Thibodeau

The Chicago Bulls are still on the road, and will have the opportunity of backing up today’s words against the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night (12/29).

Sacramento Kings, you're on notice.

 

Kobe Bryant Injures Wrist – Questionable for Opening Day

Kobe Bryant suffered a torn ligament during the Lakers’ pre-season loss to the new-look Clippers.

The injury happened during a blocked-shot by Clippers’ big Deandre Jordan that sent Bryant to the floor.  He immediately grasped his wrist but played through the pain deep into the fourth quarter.

The Lakers twitter feed provided the following information in regards to the injury:

Kobe Bryant Injures List

Kobe will miss tonight’s pre-season rematch against Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.  The Lakers will start newly added Jason Kapono in Kobe’s place in the hopes that a night off will allow him to recover in time for opening day when the Bulls come to town.

Not the best of news for Lakers Nation who has already shown signs of frustration at the organization’s inability to land a big star after having lost out on the CP3 sweepstakes.

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