Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Click-a-Bull (Boozer; Rose; Noah; Melo) + Bears (Cutler) + WhiteSox (Manny)

Big batch of links from yesterday: Click-a-Bull (Team USA; Center Rankings; Rose on Boozer & Noah; Melo; Trophies; Trade Deng?; Noah Improving)

And don't miss D-Rose highlights from Monday morning against Brazil: USA v. Brazil: Derrick Rose Highlights (Reverse Layups!)


One on One with Carlos Boozer

Why the Chicago Bulls? What made you choose them over other teams?


They had everything in place and have championship DNA. They got a lot of young players like Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and, for me, it was the perfect fit. I was contemplating other teams and also thought of staying in Utah, but I was overwhelmed by Chicago’s professionalism and how bad they wanted to win again, and not just one championship but multiple championships. They want to get back to that, and I’m looking forward to being a part of it.

Fast Breaks: USA-Slovenia

A star is born. A Derrick Rose-shaped star. Watching international opponents chase Rose in the open floor is like watching a Volvo try to keep pace with a Ferrari. With the U.S. defending the three-point line well (Slovenia connected on 20.8 percent of their threes) Rose was a monster in transition, scoring seven points and dishing out five assists, several of which went towards the U.S.' 20 fast break points. In the halfcourt Rose and Russell Westbrook assaulted the rim almost at will; their speed and power with the ball completely overwhelmed Slovenia's guards and their strength enabled them to overpower the big men at the rim.

Bright future keeps Rose cruising along in career

Derrick Rose hasn't hit many speed bumps in a professional career that began as 2008's No. 1 pick. And this summer has been even better.

Chicago's front office flanked Rose with their best team since that statue outside the United Center roamed the United Center. He's finishing up the offseason as a starter for the U.S. team at the FIBA World Championships.

Rose is living right, right now.

The waters were somewhat murkier a year ago.

Sanctions had devastated the University of Memphis, Rose's one-and-done college of choice. And though he was never publicly named in the NCAA findings last August that stripped the Tigers of their magical (at the time) run to the 2008 title game, Rose's reputation and image didn't go unscathed.

He was the focal point of an eligibility mess that dated back to his days as a Chicago high school phenom. Rose didn't address the matter much at the time or since, other than maintain his innocence. University officials at Memphis, including the athletic director, backed Rose.

The NCAA's investigation had dogged Rose for most of his first season, but not enough to derail a Rookie of the Year campaign. Another minor headache arose last June when a photo surfaced from Rose's time at Memphis of him apparently flashing gang signs. Rose quickly apologized, hammering home his "anti-gang, anti-drug, and anti-violence" stance.

Rose navigated through the negative headlines with the same poise and assuredness that splits a backcourt trap. He remained focused on his job, giving critics little else to chew on and foes plenty to worry about. By not completely acknowledging what happened at Memphis, it could be argued that Rose ducked responsibility and essentially got off scot-free.

For Rose, it was about moving forward. The Bulls were his priority, and he took on last season determined to stay on course. An ankle injury that wiped out his preseason didn't derail Rose for long. He took command of the team, earning his first All-Star nod and took his game to a higher plane in the playoffs.

Yahoo: Joakim Noah is cool with just about everything


Bulls discussing Melo with Nuggets [as are a variety of others]

Per Jon Rothstein (MSG) twitter:

#Nets look like favorites now but are fighting including lopez...Harris, Favors, and picks are package

#Nuggets would prob. want Kaman and Eric Gordon from #Clippers 4 Melo....that deal would make LAC much worse

#Nuggets discussions w Chicago involves a package of Luol Deng and Taj Gibson


Jay Cutler & Kristin Cavallari Dating?

There's a rumor going around today that Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is dating Thigh of the Week alum, Kristin Cavallari. Even if they're not officially "dating", they were reportedly seen making out like crazy at a club in Chicago last night:

Manny unlikely to be the solution

Adding Ramirez is a low-risk move, but the Sox have too many other problems

I wish I could be in Cleveland to see Manny Ramirez's debut in a White Sox uniform and watch his new team struggle to handle his old team, the lowly Indians.

But I watched Monday's game in my basement, where I plan to catch Ramirez's planned debut as well. It really does emulate the "When do the Buckeyes play?" crowd at Progressive Field, seeing as I'm here by myself.

I filed a more optimistic column as the Sox headed into the bottom of the ninth before Bobby Jenks gave up three runs to send the game into extras Monday.

But there's no reason to think this team is just one hitter away from catching the Twins and making noise in October.

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