So Kobe Bryant is coming back to play basketball after ripping his Achilles tendon or rupturing it or whatever!
Let's just say he broke it, but at the ripe old age of 35, and after just eight short months of rehab, he plans to return.
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Others players returning early from injuries similar to MVP Derrick Rose are Iman Shumpert, Ricky Rubio, and Lou Williams. They came back in 10 months, while D-rose says he is still playing himself into shape after a year and a half off.
I keep hearing about rust. Stop it. The guy has played a lot of ball since he was cleared way back when -- the rust should be gone.
Maybe he'll never be what he once was, and no one knows for certain. I watched the Miami Heat play the other night and the question I have is "Can the Bulls beat Miami with Rose a half notch down from what he was?"
No one knows. And the coddling from the Bulls organization has made it possible for him to sit for anything from a knee to a strained hamstring.
Will these lingering injuries continue? Once again, no one knows.
I'm going to ask Bulls fans to look ahead and answer this question: Would you trade D-Rose for the first pick in the draft next year?
Now before you go bonkers, look at who might be available. How about Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart, the guard Kevin Durant recently said could play in the NBA and be a star? Smart can block shots, rebound, pass and score. He had 39 points against Memphis the other night and is the team leader.
Or what about Jabari Parker of Duke? He's a younger athletic South Side legend averaging 22 points, 9 rebounds, 2.5 assists and shooting 55 percent from the field.
Or maybe the young man from Kansas, freshman Andrew Wiggins? He is considered the best of the lot by many, averaging 17 points and 6 rebounds, shooting 54 percent from the field and 75 percent from the line.
Listen to me, even the D- Rose apologists -- including the Bulls -- would have to consider it.
Oh, I almost forgot the big kid from Kentucky. How about a Julius Randle? This 6-foot-9 and 250-pounder is averaging 20 points and 13 rebounds a game and 61 percent from the field.
Look, D-Rose is a great player but he's the 2011 Cadillac that had a accident on the road. It still drives nice, but Parker is a Ferrari, Wiggins a new Mercedes, Randall a new Cadillac and Smart is a 2014 fully loaded SUV.
Would you make the deal?
I just might.
Is there a team that would want Rose over these guys? I would at least consider Rose's departure at the end of the year if some team bites.
Listen to The Mike North Pregame Show from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on WIND 560-AM The Answer, and follow me on Twitter @north2north.
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