Cleveland Cavaliers

Cavaliers happy to offer support upon Derrick Rose's return to the team

Cavaliers happy to offer support upon Derrick Rose's return to the team

Derrick Rose isn’t with the Cleveland Cavaliers in Chicago, but after his time away from the team where he contemplated his future, he’s rejoined the fold.

Cavaliers coach Ty Lue said Rose is “too young and too talented” to give up his career so quickly and said the team will be happy to have him back. Rose is in Cleveland rehabbing from the sprained ankle he suffered a few weeks ago. The injury was the first link in the chain of events that led to him stepping away.

Well, the real first chain was Rose tearing his ACL in 2012 while a member of the Bulls, setting off a series of starts and restarts, steps and missteps, while not being able to reclaim his MVP form of 2011.

It’s clear the situation has weighed on Rose in the time since, and the Cavaliers are all trying to be supportive given his myriad injuries, as he's probably two weeks away from hitting the floor again.

“Whatever he needs. From coaches, from the organization, from the players,” Lue said. “We’re here for him, and we’ve always been here for him since Day 1.”

Many believed joining a team headlined by LeBron James would be the best environment for Rose, a pressure-free space considering the Cavaliers have made the NBA Finals each of the last three years and are heavy favorites to qualify for a fourth straight year.

With a deep team, there would be little asked of Rose, especially with Isaiah Thomas scheduled to make his Cavaliers debut in a few weeks. The thought was he could play his game off the bench without the wear and tear that comes with having to play 35 minutes a night.

But everything with the former MVP has been a mystery, and he went through a similar instance last year with the Knicks where he disappeared before a game without contacting anyone from the franchise.

This time, at least, he notified the Cavaliers of his plans to step away.

“It’s impossible. None of us can understand what someone is going through,” James said. “You just don’t know. We support him in whatever he’s going through, and we’re going to be a shield for him if he wants to use us. Hopefully he wants to use us. And just try to keep his mind on basketball and try to help him with everything else.”

James said he hasn’t had any contact with Rose since Rose left the Cavaliers more than two weeks ago. Rose is averaging 14.3 points in 26.9 minutes a game for the Cavaliers, who have gone on an 11-game winning streak after starting 5-7.

“I’m sure he’s going to have a conversation with guys,” Dwyane Wade said. “That’s the way it goes in this league when most guys have their moment where they talk to the team and say the things they need to say.

“And then the team moves on. As we said early on, we understand. I’m sure we’ve all had a point where we’ve all been overly frustrated about different things in this game, injuries or playing time or roles. Sometimes you need to get away.”

Solemates: King James appreciates Lauri Markkanen's shoe game


Solemates: King James appreciates Lauri Markkanen's shoe game

Lauri Markkanen continues to impress the king of the NBA with his skills and his kicks. 

During Friday's one-point loss to the Kings, the Bulls rookie caught LeBron James' eye -- at least on Twitter -- when he laced up a pair of the superstar's signature shoes:  

That retweet is a hat tip of sorts to the 20-year-old from Finland, who has slipped on other LeBrons in the past

Oddly enough, though, when it comes to the "Phantom" LeBron 7s, King James and Markkanen have now worn the edition the same amount of times in NBA action. According to Comples, James rocked the sneaker -- which was released in 2010 -- only once, even though the design was praised for its classy and clean appearance. Markkanen shot only 5-for-13 while sporting them, so he may want to put the pair into early retirement, too. 

But this weekend wasn't the first time James acknowledged Markkanen. After a matchup early in the season, the three-time champ noticed something besides what was on the rookie's feet

“Very confident. Very confident. Watched him a lot at Arizona, Had to stay up very late to watch those Arizona games,” James said to reporters after the Cavs beat the Bulls on Oct. 24. “But very confident kid. Can shoot the heck out of the ball. He's going to continue to get better.”

Isn't LeBron a free agent after this season? 

Jokes aside, with the Cavs coming to the United Center on Monday for what will almost certainly be a blowout, the shoe storyline is something to watch.

Will Markkanen pay homage with LeBrons or opt for another pair from his closet? 

Another wild twist in the Derrick Rose saga


Another wild twist in the Derrick Rose saga

We may have seen the last of Derrick Rose on a basketball court. 

According to ESPN's Dave McMenamin and Adrian Wojnarowski, the point guard, who's currently recovering from ankle injury, is away from the Cavaliers organization and contemplating his future in basketball: 

The news may come as a shock considering Rose is still only 29 years old, but the Chicago native has experienced triumphant highs and depressing lows like few others in league history. Undoubtedly, that's taken a toll. 

From youngest MVP in league history to injury-prone backup, the former No. 1 pick of the Bulls has seen it all in his nine-year career. And just last season in New York, his passion for the game was called into question after missing a game without informing coaches, players or staff to attend to a family issue. 

He decided to team up with LeBron James in Cleveland last offseason -- a move that nobody could have predicted five years ago -- on a veteran's minimum contract, and averaged 14.3 points before, you guessed it, being forced to sit with injury. 

Fred Hoiberg, who coached Rose for one season in Chicago, weighed in before Friday's Bulls-Warriors game: 

If Rose ultimately decides to step away for good, eerie parallels can be drawn to Doug Collins' NBA stint. Collins didn't have quite the upside Rose had, but he was a three-time All-Star before foot and knee injuries cut his career short at, yes, also 29. 

It's another sad twist in the Derrick Rose Story. He may be the greatest 'What if' in NBA history.