Rose first Bulls' All-Star starter since Jordan


Rose first Bulls' All-Star starter since Jordan

Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011
Posted 3:13 p.m. Updated 6:49 p.m.

By Aggrey Sam

Instead of enjoying a rare three-day break before games and his selection as an NBA All-Star Game starter Thursday night (first Bulls All-Star starter since Michael Jordan), Bulls point guard Derrick Rose has a bigger issue to deal with.

I have an ulcer, Rose told reporters after Thursdays practice at the Berto Center.

Its real painful for me to eat, drink, swallow, all that stuff. But they gave me some medication for it, explained the 22-year-old, who didnt participate in practice either Wednesday or Thursday. I thought I had heartburn Monday, but I guess thats when it was forming.

Hopefully I will be able to play Friday against the Orlando Magic, he continued. I havent really been able to eat anything, so my energy is kind of low.

Rose, who believes the condition came about from eating too much spicy food, was shocked to learn that his symptoms were more than a simple case of heartburn.

I couldnt believe it. Actually, I woke up and the doctor wasnt in there. My mother had all these types of pictures of my stomach, showing me where the ulcers were. You could see a nice-sized one and there was a smaller one. It hit me hard, said Rose. It was kind of crazy because at first, I thought that my stomach was hurting or I was coming down with something, but to learn thatmy family was kind of worried, but Ill be all right.

They gave me some pills for heartburn, thinking that it was going to go away, but it didnt. Thats when it really got bad. I couldnt sleep at night. I thought I was having a heart attack. Thats when I called Bulls trainer Fred Tedeschi and Wednesday, thats when I went in, continued Rose, who claimed his back, which he told reporters was bothering him after Mondays game, was fine, although he admitted he didnt know how it would feel when he got back on the court. There was a procedure, anesthesia a numbing spray, then they put this little camera down my throat. I was in the hospital (Rush) the whole day.

Rose insisted his condition wasnt the result of stress.

Were winning. Im doing pretty good right now. I dont have to worry about anything, so stress, Im not worried about that. Now, if last year and the year before that, if I would have gotten one, it probably would have been because of stress, reasoned Rose. If anything, I definitely have to change what I eat.

Thats the thing Im going with, my diet, added the self-proclaimed candy fanatic. Im not eating anything spicy for a long time.

Im going to watch a lot of things that I eat now.

Still, even with the nature of the situation, Rose indicated it wouldnt be an issue on the court.

Youve got to play through it, especially this one. This one is kind of weird. Ive been healthy all my life. For me to have one an injury where Ive got to take medication for it, instead of getting stim electronic stimulation or putting ice on it, its kind of weird. Ive got to watch what I eat and watch what I drink, and thats everything, he said.

We thought it was the flu, but hopefully its not anything serious, said Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau. Well see how he is tomorrow. Hes better today than he was yesterday, so if hes better tomorrow, he goes.

We dont change our plan at all, he continued. If he cant play Friday, C.J. Watson goes, Ronnie Brewer backs him up and we go from there, but we dont change our plans at all.

Teammate Joakim Noah added a dose of humor to the situation.

I dont know how common it is. I dont really know too much about ulcers, but he didnt look too bad, quipped the injured center. Hes doing a photo shoot right now, but it couldnt be too bad.

Aggrey Sam is CSNChicago.com's Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.

Steve Kerr told a Michael Jordan Bulls story to give advice to Kevin Durant

Steve Kerr told a Michael Jordan Bulls story to give advice to Kevin Durant

Anyone who lived through the Michael Jordan Bulls remembers those games when he was putting up tons of points, but the Bulls were still struggling overall.

Steve Kerr referenced one of those games to give advice to Kevin Durant during Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. The TNT broadcast caught the conversation and aired it late in the third quarter.

"When MJ was with the Bulls, we had a playoff game," Kerr began the story. "He kept trying to score and he was scoring, but we weren't getting anything going. Phil Jackson said 'Who's open?' He said, 'John Paxson.'"

Paxson scored 10 of 12 points for the Bulls during a fourth quarter run in Game 5 of the 1991 NBA Finals, the series clincher, and famously hit the game-winning shot in Game 6 of the 1993 NBA Finals to clinch that series. Kerr, who later hit his own championship-winning shot on an assist from Jordan in 1997, was trying to get to get his teammates involved.

"I want to trust your teammates early," Kerr said. "What you're doing is you're getting to the rim and then you're trying to hit him. I want you to trust the first guy and then move. Still attack, still look to score, but trust these guys, OK?"

Watch the video above to see the interaction.

Durant scored 29 points in Game 5 to lead the Warriors, but Houston took a 3-2 series lead with a 98-94 win.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander stock is on the rise; just how high will he climb?


Shai Gilgeous-Alexander stock is on the rise; just how high will he climb?

John Calipari's 2017 recruiting class featured five McDonald's All-Americans and Hamidou Diallo, a former five-star recruit who nearly jumped to the NBA the previous year. It also included a lanky 6-foot-6 point guard named Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. And for the first part of the 2017-18 season, the Toronto native who played his final two high school years in Tennessee, appeared to be a nice fit off the bench for Calipari.

But something flipped. Gilgeous-Alexander was inserted into the starting lineup for good on January 9 and never looked back. He played his best basketball beginning in late February to the end of the season, a span of 10 games against eight NCAA Tournament opponents. In those games Gilgeous-Alexander averaged 19.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 6.7 assists. He shot 51 percent from the field, 50 percent from deep and 84 percent from the free throw line, and added 1.4 steals in nearly 38 minutes per game for good measure. He was one of the best players in the country, and on a team with five McDonald's All-Americans, he was Calipari's best freshman.

"I knew with how hard I worked that anything was possible," SGA said at last week's NBA Draft Combine in Chicago. "It was just a matter of time before it started clicking and I started to get it rolling."

That stretch included a 17-point, 10-assist double-double against Ole Miss, a 29-point showing against Tennessee in the SEC Tournament, and 27 more points in the second round of the NCAA Tournament against Buffalo. Even in his worst game of the stretch, a 15-point effort against Kansas State in the Tournament, he made up for 2 of 10 shooting by getting to the free throw line 12, converting 11 of them.

It made his decision to make the jump to the NBA an easy one - that, and another loaded Calipari recruiting class incoming. He stands taller than just about any other point guard in the class and might have as good a jump shot as any. He's adept at getting to the rim, averaging 4.7 free throw attempts per game (that number jumped to 5.6 after he became a starter, and 7.5 in those final 10 games of the season. He isn't the quickest guard in the class, but he uses his feet well, is able to find open shooters due to his height and improved on making mistakes on drive-and-kicks as the season went on.

"I think I translate really well to the next level with there being so much more space on the floor and the open court stretched out," he said. "It only benefits me and my ability to get in the lane and make plays."

There's something to be said for him being the next in line of the Calipari point guards. The ever-growing list includes players like Derrick Rose, John Wall, Tyreke Evans, Eric Bledsoe, Jamal Murray and DeAaron Fox. It's the NBA's version of Penn State linebackers or Alabama defensive linemen. The success rate is nearly 100 percent when it comes to Calipari's freshmen point guards; even Brandon Knight averaged 18.1 points over a three-year span in the NBA.

"That’s why guys go to Kentucky," Gilgeous-Alexander said. "It prepares them for the next level. Coach (Calipari) does a really good job, especially with point guards, getting them ready for that next level in a short amount of time."

Gilgeous-Alexander didn't test or play in the 5-on-5 scrimmages, but he still came out of Chicago a winner. He measured 6-foot-6 in shoes with a ridiculous 6-foot-11 1/2 wingspan, a full three inches longer than any other point guard at the Combine. He also added, rather uniquely, that he watches of film Kawhi Leonard playing defense. Most players don't mention watching film on different-position players; most players aren't 6-foot-6 point guards.

"(It's) obviously a more versatile league and playing small ball. And with me being able to guard multiple positions, a lot of teams are switching things like the pick and roll off ball screens, so me being able to switch and guard multiple positions can help an organization."

Gilgeous-Alexander's arrow is pointing way up. He appears to be teetering near Lottery pick status, though that could go one way or the other in private team workouts, especially if he's pitted against fellow top point guards like Trae Young and Collin Sexton. But if his rise at Kentucky is any indication, he'll only continue to improve his game, his stock and eventually his draft position.