Anyone with at least a passing interest in Derrick Rose and Team USA at the FIBA World Championships is probably wondering the same thing:
FIBA had all summer to play this thing and it chose to schedule the final two rounds for a weekend when American sports fans are paying no attention. Anyone over there realize it’s the first Sunday of NFL season?
Well, the semifinals were Saturday morning. I didn't watch it, either, but the U.S. breezed past Lithuania 89-74 behind Kevin Durant's 38 points. It was a record for most points by a U.S. player at the World Championships.
The U.S. led 23-12 at the end of one quarter and was never seriously threatened. Lamar Odom added 13 points and Russell Westbrook had 12. Rose was scoreless with 2 assists and 2 rebounds, but it hardly mattered.
So now Team USA will play for the gold medal against host Turkey on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. on ESPN. Turkey beat Serbia 83-82 in the other semi (5 points, 7 rebounds for Bulls center Omer Asik). Both the U.S. and Turkey are undefeated in the tournament.
Turkey has a talented group, led by Milwaukee's Ersan Ilyasova and Phoenix's Hedo Turkoglu, and with home-court advantage in Istanbul, anything could happen in the final.
But already, this U.S. team has done better than the 2006 squad, which featured Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard, Joe Johnson and Chris Paul. That group lost to Greece in the semifinals and settled for the bronze medal.
Rose, Durant and company will bring home either the gold or silver. The U.S. has won this event only three times in its history and not since 1994.
PINCKNEY A POSSIBILITY
The Bulls adding former NBA center Ed Pinckney as a big-man coach is a strong possibility, according to a team source, but nothing official yet.
Tom Thibodeau was an assistant coach in Philadelphia while Pinckney was a player during the 1995-96 season. In recent years, Pinckney was an assistant coach for Villanova and the Minnesota Timberwolves. He was on the 76ers broadcast team last season.
He played for seven NBA teams during a 12-year career. He’s probably best known for his role on Villanova’s 1985 NCAA championship team.
ROSE ON ANTHONY
Chris Tomasson from AOL Fanhouse is in Turkey and asked Derrick Rose about those Carmelo Anthony rumors.
“Right now, I think we have our team,” Rose said. “If it was something like that, I would have heard it or somebody would have called me. Nobody has called me yet.
“He’s still in Denver. He hasn’t said he wants to leave. So right now, I’m just playing it between the lines and worrying about what’s going on (at the world championships).”
Despite the rumors from unnamed authors, there is nothing going on right now with the Bulls and Anthony.