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NBA PM: Derrick Rose, Where Are You?
Posted By Bill Ingram On April 5, 2013 @ 5:00 pm In NBA | No Comments
It’s almost that time. The national spotlight is about to turn to the NBA at the time when true heroes are made, villains are defined and champions are crowned. As the final days of the 2012-13 regular season wind down, we’re watching as the teams hoping to make their mark sharpen up in preparation for what they hope will be long postseason runs. Yet even as Tim Duncan continues to turn back the clock, Kobe Bryant carries the Lakers in a desperate hope of grabbing the West’s eighth seed and the Miami HEAT cut through the league like a hot knife through soft butter, there is one burning question on the minds of fans across the NBA.
It was nearly one year ago when the Chicago Bulls’ MVP tore his ACL in the first game of the 2012 playoffs. Bulls fans saw their hopes of a return to the NBA Finals being carried off the court, and to date those hopes, or Rose, have not returned. The injury itself is not really the issue, however. Most people understand the severity of an ACL tear, as well as the importance of making sure the injury has completely healed before putting it to the test on the NBA hardwoods.
What NBA fans, and especially those in Chicago, are wondering is why Rose, who has been going full out in practice for weeks with zero limitations or setbacks, hasn’t suited up for the games that count.
A source close to the situation in Chicago told HOOPSWORLD earlier this week that Rose seems to be completely healthy. He’s practicing just like he did before the injury and is not showing any signs of weakness with the surgically repaired leg. In fact, the source said a lot of people around the team are scratching their heads, wondering what’s keeping Rose from returning for a tune up before the playoffs. Rose has made mention that he isn’t entirely comfortable dunking off of the leg just yet, and there has been some talk about his hamstrings being a little sore, but otherwise the former MVP looks like he could step on the court tomorrow and push his team from first round fodder to possible contenders. The Bulls absolutely need Rose back as soon as possible if they’re going to get much further than the first round, but there is a bigger reason why Rose’s return is so important.
The NBA needs him.
The NBA playoffs are about a lot more than basketball; they’re about the people behind the names. This is the time when casual fans gets to know the players in a more intimate way, not only through the players’ competitive spirit and drive on the court, but also through the narrative told by the overwhelming media coverage. The game and the league are defined in an entirely different way during the playoffs than they are during the regular season, and Rose is one of the great young stars who defines the modern NBA. As much as the game needs Rose to return to make the Eastern Conference playoffs more interesting, the league needs Rose to return to show fans what makes the NBA the greatest game on the planet.
It’s hard not to admire Rose for standing up to the immense media and fan pressure to return as quickly as possible from his ACL injury. If he is still legitimately concerned about reinjuring himself, there is no reason for him to risk returning now. He should go ahead and take the rest of the season off and come back completely healthy next season. On the other hand, if there is some mental issue or insecurity holding him back, it’s time for Rose to overcome that issue and get back to the business of basketball. The Chicago Bulls need him, but more importantly the NBA needs him.
The game simply isn’t as interesting without Derrick Rose in it.
In Case You Missed It: Gordon Hayward
As the Utah Jazz battle it out for the Western Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot, there has been plenty of criticism of both the front office and head coach Ty Corbin as fans look to explain how a team that was so much in the mix a month ago is now on the verge of missing the big dance. HOOPSWORLD recently caught up with Gordon Hayward to talk about Corbin’s job, the difficult balance between young players in need of playing time and veterans who know how to win and more in this exclusive interview:
NBA Green Week Tips Off
The NBA today tips off NBA Green Week presented by Sprint, featuring community greening projects, recycling programs, green giveaways, special adidas on-court apparel, and auctions to encourage fans to “go green.” Continuing through April 12, this marks the fifth year of the leaguewide Green Week hosted in collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
In conjunction with Green Week, the NBA is also launching Mosaic, an on-line tool designed to measure environmental impact. In partnership with NRDC and Renewable Choice Energy, Mosaic will allow all NBA teams and venues to track, analyze, and identify cost savings opportunities within their environmental footprint. In addition, as part of its ongoing efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, the league also will work with Sterling Planet – a leading supplier of renewable energy – to offset the amount of electricity used during all 67 NBA games taking place during Green Week. This commitment will result in a carbon avoidance of more than 10 million pounds, which will be one of the largest pollution offset initiatives by any sports league worldwide, and the only one to involve every team in the league.
Throughout NBA Green Week, adidas – the league’s official oncourt apparel provider – will outfit all players with 100 percent organic cotton adidas shooting shirts, available at NBAStore.com and the NBA Store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Players will also wear NBA Green headbands and wristbands made from 45 percent organic cotton, while NBA coaches and broadcasters will wear NBA Green lapel pins, all in an effort to raise additional awareness. NBA teams across the league will also host in-arena nights along with a variety of events and activities in the community to support environmental protection. In addition, the NBA and Sprint are launching “Pledge to Recycle”, a fan contest that tips off today, April 4, and continues through May 16. Fans who pledge to recycle their old mobile devices can enter to win a grand prize trip for two to the 2013 Finals. Fans can learn more at NBA.com/SprintPledge.
“The NBA is thrilled to once again partner with Sprint for NBA Green Week,” said NBA Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility Todd Jacobson. “We have a shared commitment to environmental protection and are proud to team up in a collective effort to raise fan awareness and participation around conservation.”
During Green Week, the NBA and Sprint will encourage fans to do their part for the environment through wireless device recycling events hosted by current and former NBA players in three NBA markets – Los Angeles (Clippers), Boston (Celtics), and Orlando (Magic). As part of the Sprint Buyback program, fans will be able to recycle their eligible phones from any carrier and receive up to a $300 service credit from Sprint, along with autographs, tickets to upcoming games, and other giveaway items. Through this program, Sprint, which ranks third on Newsweek’s list of the 500 greenest companies in America, has kept more than 28 million wireless devices out of landfills.
“NBA Green Week stands alone among all professional sports greening initiatives. No other league dedicates an entire week to educating millions of fans about environmental sustainability,” said Natural Resources Defense Council Senior Scientist Allen Hershkowitz. “The NBA’s commitment to offset the electricity used during Green Week games will result in a carbon avoidance of more than 10 million pounds; that’s one of the largest pollution offset initiatives by any sports league worldwide. And with the launch of a comprehensive environmental data gathering system, the NBA takes their commitment one more giant step forward by improving the way every team’s arena is managed from now on. These sustainability initiatives confirm why the league is regarded as one of the world’s most responsible sports organizations.”
NBA Green is a year-round program and the NBA family continues to identify and implement environmentally sound practices across all of its business areas. To date, five NBA team arenas – Philips Arena (Atlanta Hawks), AmericanAirlines Arena (Miami Heat), Rose Garden Arena (Portland Trail Blazers), Toyota Center (Houston Rockets), and Amway Center (Orlando Magic) – have received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. Additionally, five NBA teams have installed solar panels on their arenas, garages, or practice facilities: the Golden State Warriors’ practice facility, the US Airways Center (Phoenix Suns), STAPLES Center (Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers), the Denver Nuggets’ Pepsi Center, and the San Antonio Spurs’ AT&T Center. Also, in September 2009, the Minnesota Timberwolves installed a green roof spanning 115,000 square feet on the Target Center, making it the first green roof on any North America arena and currently the nation’s fifth-largest.
The NBA/WNBA family is also a proud member of the Green Sports Alliance, a non-profit organization that launched in 2011 with a mission to reduce the environmental impact of professional sports and to inspire fans to join in these efforts. NBA/WNBA participants include the Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle Storm, Toronto Raptors and the NBA league office.
Next week HOOPSWORLD will feature exclusive interviews with NBA EVP of Social Responsibility & Player Programs Kathy Behrens and NRDC Senior Scientist Allen Hershkowitz about the impact the NBA is having on the global effort to increase environmental awareness.
HOOPSWORLD’s March Madness Coverage
The Final Four match-ups are set. Michigan will face Syracuse and Louisville will face Wichita State. HOOPSWORLD has plenty of content to ensure you’re up to speed on the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
You can find previews for every game here. They have in-depth stats, players to watch and a poll so that you can vote on which team will win. Once it tips off, feel free to discuss the game in the comment section.
If you want to take a look at the bracket, we’ve been updating it here.
We will continue to push out NCAA Tournament coverage over the next few days so be sure to check back regularly.
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