The Norman Transcript

Sports

April 23, 2013

Rose owned Chicago but not anymore

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Besides Rose, there’s Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles, nursing a torn Achilles tendon and mad-tweeting coaching instructions to his teammates in real time; Amar’e Stoudamire in New York; Danilo Gallinari in Denver; Danny Granger in Indiana; and David Lee at Golden State, who tore his hip flexor in the Warriors’ opening-round loss at Denver.

Bryant caught some flak for his Sunday afternoon quarterbacking via Twitter, though after San Antonio rolled his Lakers 91-79 in Game 1, the most charitable thing coach Mike D’Antoni could say about the running commentary was, “He gets excited. He wants to be part of it.” And unlike Rose, no one in the LA market doubts Bryant wants back in; even after he ruptured the tendon in a game two weeks ago, he still managed to hobble to the line to take his free throws.

In New York, Stoudamire’s absence has been cushioned by the Knicks’ late surge, the emergence of J.R. Smith as the NBA’s best sixth man and the chance Stoudamire could return for the next round. The chance that for once there will even be a next round — after disposing of the hated Boston Celtics, no less — is enough to keep restless Knicks’ fans from piling on Stoudamire.

The same is mostly true in other places where stars have been waylaid by injury — save for Chicago. In a workingman’s town, with the Bulls blown out in Brooklyn in Game 1 and teammate Joakim Noah playing hurt as Game 2 tips off Monday night, Rose is being called a slacker and worse.

A sampling of tweets:

“Want to minimize risk? Retire.”

“(at)drose needs to give his leg to Kobe if he’s not gonna use it”

“At this rate, (at)drose’s baby PJ will probably play basketball before his dad.”

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