Maybe this prolonged saga of Derrick Rose’s injured right ankle is finally coming to an end. Rose participated in about 40 minutes of Thursday’s practice and declared himself ready to play.
“I was kind of mad they took me off early,” Rose said. “I felt way better. I could have practiced the whole practice, but they told me they don't want me sore tomorrow, so I practiced for like 30 or 40 minutes then they took me right off.”
Rose said he went up and down he floor with teammates in a drill where they had to call out and run about 16 plays. Then he did some extra shooting after practice and seemed to knock down more 3-pointers than 2-pointers.
There seems to be little chance the Bulls will let Rose take the floor during Friday’s preseason finale against Washington at the United Center, but Rose says he’s ready.
“I asked them could I get some minutes, at least one or two or something, just to get the feel for the game,” he said. “They said they'll see. They say if I get injured during that game, I wouldn't be able to play Thursday for the (season) opener, so they're real concerned with my injury.”
Coach Vinny Del Negro has stressed that he’s more concerned with the four days of practice leading up to the season opener against San Antonio than the last preseason game.
"I'll be out there no matter what (at Sunday’s practice),” Rose said. “I'm just happy they gave me the opportunity of playing today.”
Kirk Hinrich (hyperextended elbow) and Jannero Pargo (sore hip) both sat out Thursday’s practice and it sounds as though Del Negro would prefer to keep them out of Friday’s game.
That would leave the Bulls with limited options at point guard beyond 38-year-old Lindsey Hunter. Maybe rookie James Johnson will play the point. Free agent swingman Derrick Byars returned from a hyperextended knee he suffered during Monday’s game to join in Thursday’s practice, so his presence should help Friday.
“We're a little bit weak right now in terms of the point guard,” Del Negro said after practice. “Lindsey might have to get the rust off a little bit and get some WD-40 and loosen him up a little bit to get him out there. We'll just play it by ear. I want to look at the big picture and make sure we have some good practices next week and get ready for our tough opening week.”
VICTORIA’S SECRET IS OUT
After practice, Rose met up with Victoria’s Secret model Marisa Miller. To help celebrate the opening of a Michigan Avenue store, Rose is one of three nominees for Chicago’s sexiest athlete. His competition is Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher and Patrick Sharp from the Blackhawks.
The highlight of the ceremony was probably when Miller handed Rose a No. 1 Bulls jersey with “sexy” where the name should be. Rose held it up to show teammate Joakim Noah, who was razzing Rose from across the gym.
Then Miller – a former high school basketball and volleyball player in California – switched from high heels to sneakers and played a little one-on-one basketball with Rose. At no time did Rose appear to aggravate his ankle injury, which might be proof that he’s ready for game action.
Rose said he and rookie Taj Gibson met Miller on Wednesday night during a party at the new Victoria’s Secret store.
"At first, everybody was telling me about her,” Rose said. “Then I was seeing pictures of her, I was like, 'Man, she looks pretty good.' Then I saw her in person last night. We talked a little bit.”
This is probably a question worth answering, since Miller is one of the most famous swimsuit and lingerie models working today: How did she look in person? Very, very thin.
LATE UPDATE: RICHARD WAIVED
We all knew 6-9 power forward Chris Richard wasn't likely to make the final roster, but it seemed as though the short-handed Bulls could use him for Friday's final preseason game.
Too late now. Richard was waived late Thursday afternoon. That leaves the roster at 14 players and the only suspense is whether or not the Bulls keep swingman Derrick Byars. They probably won't, but I've been told it's a possibility.