WBEZ | Derrick Rose http://www.wbez.org/tags/derrick-rose Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en More than Derrick Rose's injuries need to heal http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-05/more-derrick-roses-injuries-need-heal-107224 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_1derrick_rose_rick_bowman.jpg" style="float: right; height: 427px; width: 300px;" title="Not returning to the Bulls lineup has caused ill will for Derrick Rose. (AP/File)" />There is plenty of time for the Bulls to heal all their various ailments after losing the series to Miami. In the case of Derrick Rose, he has some other wounds that need to be repaired between now and when he returns to play next year.</div><p>The anger directed at Rose for not returning this season after major ACL knee surgery was frankly, unbelievable.&nbsp; There were definite mistakes made concerning the prospect of the Bulls guard&rsquo;s return to game time action. His shoe company even did a video &quot;The Return&quot; to highlight the rehabbing Rose was doing after he was given the green light.&nbsp;</p><p>At media day in early October, Rose sounded hopeful that he would be able to join the team during the season. At no time, publicly, did Derrick Rose or the Bulls ever give a hard date. It was all speculation that drove the story, lit a smoldering fire and turned into a firestorm once months passed.&nbsp;</p><p>The silence of Rose and his camp of handlers muddied the waters. When there were &quot;on the record&quot; quotes, it was Rose&rsquo;s brother/manager Reggie that caused the biggest stir. He inferred that there were other issues than his brother&rsquo;s health (like the quality of the team&rsquo;s roster) that was impeding his comeback. Eventually, Rose did give a lengthy interview with a national paper and from time to time spoke with the media, but nothing was settled.</p><p>A report from ESPN.com writer Melissa Isaacson in March indicating that doctors cleared Rose to play stirred the pot. Once that news was out, it was assumed that he would soon be announced in the players&rsquo; introductions for a game, but that never materialized.</p><p>Rose did practice with the team, but the Bulls did not have many full team scrimmages at this point. With all the team ailments, film sessions and free throw shooting filled most of the practice time. Most scrimmages involved under-used players.</p><p>During every interview, coach Tom Thibodeau was asked about his star player and the answer was optimistic but never definite.</p><p>As playoffs approached the tide of public opinoin turned against Rose. Everyone became an expert on what was best for him. Many argued he owed it to the Bulls to return. Some want the Bulls to trade him.</p><p>Last season the Chicago native suffered one injury after another, tried to play through it and was felled by the devastating one. Forget that the injury is scary for a young player that does things on the court most can only dream about. People have questioned his heart and his courage.</p><p>A few weeks ago, Rose was in the hallway of the United Center and I asked him if he was hearing or reading the negative comments. He said no. Maybe he hasn&rsquo;t, but he likely has some knowledge that his reputation has been marred.&nbsp;</p><p>The reaction to him not playing is more apt for a player who has committed a major crime. Not for one trying to be completely healed in his mind and his body.&nbsp;</p><p>What has been a problem was how it was handled. There should have been more transparency about the situation. Maybe the Bulls could have taken the decision out of Rose&rsquo;s hands once the season was winding down. Maybe they did, but strategically they allowed teams to think a Rose return could make it difficult to game plan.</p><p>It would have been advantageous to have a media session with the doctors, Rose and the front office to answer the whispers out loud. Hopefully, lessons were learned by everyone involved in this situation.</p><p>It will be a long summer and fall before we can expect to actually see Rose on the court. If it is the pre-season, it won&rsquo;t even be in the U.S. The first game is in Brazil. That doesn&rsquo;t really matter, once he steps on the court and drives to the basket and lands on his feet, he and the fans should feel better. If the fans still don&rsquo;t forgive him, Rose should close his social media accounts.</p><p>Derrick Rose hasn&#39;t deserved the condemnation and I look forward to seeing him again on the court exciting the fans whostayed in his corner.</p><p><em>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout" target="_blank">@CRayeStout</a> and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame" target="_blank">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame </a></em></p></p> Fri, 17 May 2013 06:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-05/more-derrick-roses-injuries-need-heal-107224 Chicago Bulls get no respect http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-05/chicago-bulls-get-no-respect-107147 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP93894188013.jpg" style="float: right; height: 200px; width: 300px;" title="Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson, left, and Miami Heat guard Norris Cole battle for a loose ball as guard Nate Robinson, far right, watches during the first half of Game 2 of their NBA basketball playoff series. (AP/File)" />When it comes to the Chicago Bulls, I&rsquo;m mad as hell and I&rsquo;m not going to take it anymore. I&rsquo;m not talking about Derrick Rose on the sidelines. Or whether or not Nazr Mohammed should have shoved LeBron James (he shouldn&rsquo;t have; but nor should James have pulled&nbsp; that Al Pacino-worthy bit of overacting on his way down to the boards). I&rsquo;m not even referring to what the Bulls need to do to stay alive in their series with the Heat.</div><p>I&rsquo;m talking about the absolute lack of respect that the Bulls get from the national media covering the NBA playoffs.</p><p>At first it was amusing, watching <a href="http://offthedribble.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/08/on-stubborn-bulls-robinson-is-a-standout/" target="_blank">The New York Times</a> scramble to give props to the team and to players like Nate Robinson, as the Bulls won their first playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets. Or, to hear some commentators, even as the Bulls trounced the Nets, refer to them as having &quot;<a href="http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1629141-chicago-bulls-vs-brooklyn-nets-game-7-score-highlights-and-analysis" target="_blank">outlasted</a>&quot; their Brooklyn rivals.</p><p>Then, the Bulls&rsquo; started their second series against the Heat. And I really started to really get my rage on.</p><p>Late in the fourth quarter, the Bulls trailed Miami by seven. The announcers stopped paying attention, and started a discussion of the Golden State Warriors. Bit by bit though, the Bulls pulled even with the Heat. Then Robinson sank his 20-footer, which put the Bulls ahead by three. But the announcer, thinking nothing had changed since he checked out of the game, updated the old rather than the new score. He quickly corrected himself but it was too late: the game had indeed changed, and the Bulls went on to <a href="http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=400464356" target="_blank">beat the Heat</a>.</p><p>Of course the game has changed quite a bit since then. The Bull&rsquo;s second match with the Heat was disastrous and the third disappointing. Push has come to shove.</p><p>Some commentators get that the Bulls win <a href="http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2013/story/_/id/9249754/nba-playoffs-2013-miami-heat-need-find-footing-chicago-bulls-game-1-win" target="_blank">wasn&rsquo;t a fluke</a> but a result of their hard work learning how to beat a player like LeBron James and a team like the Heat. But by and large, indifference to their play has been replaced by an insistence, at least on the part of some commentators, to talk about the Bulls in terms of the team&rsquo;s &quot;<a href="http://www.wunc.org/post/can-chicagos-bulls-beat-defending-champion-miami-heat" target="_blank">passion</a>&quot; and &quot;<a href="http://www.nba.com/bulls/news/noah-named-2012-13-nba-all-defensive-first-team.html" target="_blank">grit</a>&quot;.</p><p>And that has me seeing red.</p><p>Don&rsquo;t get me wrong. The Bulls do play with a lot of passion. And sure, with all their injuries, it must be painful duty in the paint right now.</p><p>But these are professional players and this is playoff ball.&nbsp; That the Bulls have gotten this far is because they&rsquo;ve trained to get here, and not just because they care or have passion. That&rsquo;s like saying a nurse is great at his job because he&rsquo;s just a genuinely caring person. That might well be the case, or it might not. Either way, it&rsquo;s entirely beside the point.</p><p>Similarly, the Bulls are a good team because in addition to whatever passion lies beneath their red jerseys, they&rsquo;re also incredibly talented. They have discipline. They work hard. They didn&rsquo;t get to the playoffs because they&rsquo;re gritty. They&rsquo;re got there because they have a phenomenal coach and because they&rsquo;ve learned how to play as a team.</p><p>I don&rsquo;t know what will happen tonight at the United Center.&nbsp; I know the Bulls have the skills to win. And if anyone still doubts that, today <a href="http://www.nba.com/bulls/news/noah-named-2012-13-nba-all-defensive-first-team.html" target="_blank">Joakim Noah was named to the 2012-2013 NBA All Defensive First Team</a>, the first bull to make it since the 1997-98 season, during the so-called Jordan years. Chicago has waited a long time for another basketball dynasty, for what some of us think, even if he&rsquo;s been sidelined all season, are the beginning of the &ldquo;Rose years&rdquo;.</p><p>I just wonder when &ndash; if ever &ndash; the rest of basketball nation is going to catch up.</p><p><em>Alison Cuddy is WBEZ&rsquo;s Arts and Culture reporter. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/wbezacuddy" target="_blank">@wbezacuddy</a>, on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/cuddyalison?ref=tn_tnmn" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and on <a href="http://instagram.com/cuddyreport#" target="_blank">Instagram</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 13 May 2013 16:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-05/chicago-bulls-get-no-respect-107147 Afternoon Shift: Eve Ensler, Great Gatsby and the Bulls brand http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2013-05-10/afternoon-shift-eve-ensler-great-gatsby-and-bulls-brand-107130 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/crop_AfternoonShift_CMS_tile_1200x900_0_23.png" alt="" /><p><p>On today&#39;s show Niala talks with author Eve Ensler about her new book and journey as a women&#39;s political activist. Then, Robert Frank discusses the lifestyles of the rich and famous and Kevin Adler and Charley Wickman cover the brand of the Bulls and how they are marketing the Derrick Rose return.</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/afternoon-shift-eve-ensler-the-great-gatsby-and-th.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/afternoon-shift-eve-ensler-the-great-gatsby-and-th" target="_blank">View the story "Afternoon Shift: Eve Ensler, the Great Gatsby and the Bulls brand" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Fri, 10 May 2013 13:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2013-05-10/afternoon-shift-eve-ensler-great-gatsby-and-bulls-brand-107130 Bulls odds improving after Game 1 upset http://www.wbez.org/news/bulls-odds-improving-after-game-1-upset-107090 <p><p>After a surprising Game-1 win against the Miami Heat Monday night, the Bulls&rsquo; odds seemed to be improving. But before what some have called the playoff upset of the decade, the battered Bulls were hardly a safe bet.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/bulls2.jpg" style="float: left;" title="Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer dunks the ball against Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Bulls lead the series 1-0. (AP/File)" />The Heat are the reigning champions and overwhelming favored to repeat.<br /><br />In a ceremony before Monday night&rsquo;s game, LeBron James was named the league&rsquo;s most valuable player for the fourth time in five years.</p><p>The only player to interrupt his reign was Derrick Rose.</p><p>But Rose didn&rsquo;t play in Game 1...or any other matchup this season.</p><p>And yet the Bulls managed to knock King James &ndash;&nbsp;and oddsmakers &ndash;&nbsp;off their game Monday night.</p><p>In fact, Miami was so favored to win the series that in order to win a single dollar off a bet in their favor, you&rsquo;d have to put up $30. Again, to win a dollar...you&rsquo;d have to bet 30.</p><p>But then the Bulls won--and the odds began to change.</p><p>&ldquo;A lot of people are betting on the Bulls tonight with the points...it&rsquo;s a lot of points, with 12 points. One book said it&rsquo;s like 80 percent of the bets so far were on the Bulls,&rdquo; David Purdum explained.</p><p>Purdum covers the sports-betting industry for<a href="http://www.OddsShark.com"> OddsShark.com</a>. He said the Bulls odds may still improve if they can get healthy. But, that some players&rsquo; return is more impactful than others.</p><p>&ldquo;Luol Deng coming back would even surpass the impact on the line that Derrick Rose, if he was to decide to play. You just don&rsquo;t know what you&rsquo;re going to get out of Rose,&rdquo; said Purdum.</p><p>Rose and Deng have both been ruled out for Wednesday&rsquo;s game.</p><p>But here&rsquo;s to Bull-ieving...</p><p><em>Katie O&rsquo;Brien is a WBEZ reporter and producer. Follow her <a href="http://www.twitter.com/katieobez">@katieobez</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 08 May 2013 18:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/bulls-odds-improving-after-game-1-upset-107090 Bulls' coach Tom Thibodeau has the toughest job in Chicago sports http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-04/bulls-coach-tom-thibodeau-has-toughest-job-chicago-sports-106577 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_thibodeau_rich_pedroncelli.jpg" style="float: right; height: 393px; width: 300px;" title="Life has not been easy for Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. (AP/File)" />Right now, the toughest job in Chicago sports belongs to Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau. Last night the Bulls lost another close one: 101-98 to Toronto at the United Center. Thibodeau admitted after the game that they are struggling.</p><p>You may argue that Cubs manager Dale Sveum has a more difficult gig. But he knew what the circumstances were from the moment he took the job.</p><p>Thibodeau knew a season without Derrick Rose would not be easy, yet he never made excuses. A season with several other starters on the bench may have been insurmountable for other head coaches.</p><p>The first two years at the helm of the Bulls, Thibodeau guided his team to the best record in the NBA. In 2011, the club had an exciting playoff run, including the Eastern Conference Finals. Last year the Bulls looked poised for a long run, but the horrible ACL tear to Rose&rsquo;s knee and Joakim Noah&rsquo;s badly sprained ankle ended all hopes. Most NBA predictors ahead of this regular season figured the Bulls would be lucky to be a .500 team or even make the playoffs. They will participate in the post-season, but are undermanned.</p><p>Imagine a coach looking at the bench and seeing starters Rose, Noah, Luol&nbsp;Deng and Richard Hamilton and top sixth man Taj Gibson wearing street clothes instead of Bulls jerseys.</p><p>Yesterday Hamilton made his first appearance since late February. Marco Belinelli is slowly making his way on the court. Noah has had a set back with his foot injury since playing Sunday in Detroit. There is no known return date for the Bulls All-Star center.</p><p>This depleted M*A*S*H unit have beaten some good teams and won games no one figured they could at this point. But they have suffered some dreadful losses, including the last two games.</p><p>The only constant this season had been the Bulls head coach. People not familiar with the day-to-day routine have criticized Thibodeau. These critics think he is too tough on the team. But he has been careful about scheduling practices, especially after a road game. Thibodeau has given his players the day completely off several times, or scheduled film sessions with light work-outs. It has to be a difficult decision considering this coach loves to teach and practices are where that work is done.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Another thankless aspect of Thibodeau&rsquo;s job has been answering every question concerning Rose&#39;s return. He is asked after every practice, before and after games. With only five games left, the odds of the former MVP coming back are slim. At this point is makes little sense.</p><p>The team&rsquo;s front office made several impactful choices this season due to Rose&rsquo;s status, particularly with the bench. How nice it would have been to have Omer Asik, Ronnie Brewer, C.J. Watson or Kyle Korver to be part of this team. Several players on this year&rsquo;s roster, like Jimmy Butler and Nate Robinson, have been helpful putting the Bulls in the position they are right now. However, this team seems to be running out of steam.</p><p><em>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout" target="_blank">@CRayeStout</a>&nbsp;and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame" target="_blank">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame</a>&nbsp;</em></p></p> Wed, 10 Apr 2013 06:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-04/bulls-coach-tom-thibodeau-has-toughest-job-chicago-sports-106577 Should the battered Chicago Bulls pull the plug on Derrick Rose? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-03/should-battered-chicago-bulls-pull-plug-derrick-rose-106106 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_1rose_charles_rex_arbogast.jpg" style="width: 300px; float: right; height: 437px" title="As Bulls struggle, should Derrick Rose be shut down? (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)" />The Bulls season is like watching the Titanic sink at this point. What a nightmare for the Bulls going on this West coast trip. Losing to the Lakers is one thing. Getting drubbed by the Kings in Sacramento was downright bad.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">No, bad isn&#39;t good enough. They were horrible. This Bulls team is spent. They look just lethargic and totally undermanned no matter who they play against.</div><p>After the 42 point loss to the Kings, Coach Tom Thibodeau said he didn&rsquo;t do his job and he had to have them &ldquo;play harder.&rdquo; There is no way you can say this team has quit on Thibodeau. It appears they just haven&rsquo;t the capability to sustain energy right now.</p><p>All the minutes that have piled up for Luol Deng (avg. 39) and Joakim Noah (avg. 38) has taken a toll on the two All-Stars. As the days go by and the calendar shows only 18 games remaining, it just feels like they have hit the wall.</p><p>On this road trip, Derrick Rose told the media he still does not feel good enough to play in games. What may make sense at this point is to keep him off the court until next season. His mental hurdle seems the most challenging for him at this juncture.</p><p>All the sports talkers and fans insist Derrick should play to complete his rehab. While that will be beneficial to his final stages, unless he is mentally there it will not matter. Players at his elite status seem to have a very difficult time after their first major injury. Some people want to question his toughness. This is one of the aspects about Derrick Rose that should never be brought up. Rose wants to play at the highest level he can. That seems to be more the obstacle. He has a will to be the best and the Bulls guard right now doesn&rsquo;t think he is.</p><p>Maybe if the team took the stand to shut him down, it would help Rose. There is not much time left to the regular season and it doesn&rsquo;t feel like the Bulls will be any threat in the playoffs as they keep tumbling down the Eastern Conference standings.</p><p>It would be a crushing decision for Thibodeau and the team. This uncertainty has reached a point where so many people have been affected and a resolution would help. There isn&rsquo;t a press session before a game, after a game or after a practice that the Bulls coach isn&#39;t asked about Rose. There is nothing he can say or do, it is not Thibodeau&rsquo;s decision. He has to put a team on the court that is missing two starting point guards (Rose and Hindrich), his starting shooting guard (Hamilton) and his best bench player (Gibson).</p><p>Shutting Rose down would be tough on the rest of the team, but they are huge supporters on him. There is not one player that doesn&rsquo;t believe in Derrick.&nbsp;He is the reason they have been&nbsp;as competitive as a team since he put on the Bulls jersey.</p><p><em>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">@CRayeStout</a>&nbsp;and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame</a></em></p></p> Fri, 15 Mar 2013 06:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-03/should-battered-chicago-bulls-pull-plug-derrick-rose-106106 Hot Hawks, cold Bulls and women sports characters http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-03/hot-hawks-cold-bulls-and-women-sports-characters-105953 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" ap="" carcillo="" charles="" class="image-original_image" colorado="" first="" game="" goal-a="" his="" photo="" rex="" scores="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_1danny_carcillo_co_game_winner%20arbogast_0.jpg" style="width: 620px; height: 404px" title="Danny " vs="" winner="" /></div><p><strong>Twenty-four games left for the Blackhawks and counting&hellip;</strong></p><p>The story and the excitement keep building for the Blackhawks. Halfway through the NHL season, they have yet to register a loss in regulation (21-0-3). Tonight they hope to continue this unbelievable ride with a rematch with the Avalanche in Colorado. A few injuries are a concern, specifically Patrick Sharp. But this team has had different players step in and step up. Last game Danny Carcillo scored the game winner in the final seconds. After the win, coach Joel Quenneville refereed to Carcillo by his nickname, &ldquo;Car-bomb&rdquo;. That may offend some, but it was funny just to hear that nickname used by a coach.</p><p>As the Hawks keep winning, the Derrick Rose drama for the Bulls is going on and on. It almost feels like the movie <em>Groundhog Day</em>. Twenty one games left on the NBA schedule, still no decision in sight. Now there is daily reporting when he sits with the team on the bench and when he doesn&rsquo;t. It is just becoming too monotonous for everyone. Tonight the Bulls host Utah and then spend the next week on the road.</p><p><strong>Women in sports</strong></p><p>Two kicks for one young lady, ten steps back for women in pro-sports? Much has been made about the failed kicks by Lauren Silberman, at the NFL regional combine event in Florham Park, N.J. The former soccer player made two very poor attempts in kicking try-outs that resulted in a flurry of responses.</p><p>There are indications that Silberman was hurt. She should have postponed the workout or not done it at all. The other major factor: she has never played collegiate football. That could be more of the problem about her failed attempt at the NFL regional combine.</p><p>One thing that you learn physically in the sports world -- man or woman -- is know your limitations. Silberman should have learned a valuable lesson. If you are injured, not prepared or do not have the aptitude to do it (particularly when it is impactful) rethink your situation. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Speaking of impacts, there is no doubt that Northwestern Women&rsquo;s Lacrosse coach Kelly Amonte-Hiller continues to be a force in her sport. On Wednesday, she registered career win 200 when the Wildcats won their home opener beating Boston College 17-10. Tomorrow 4-1 Northwestern will play at John Hopkins on the east coast.</p><p>Did you realize that the Big Ten women&rsquo;s basketball tournament is in the Northwest suburbs at the Sears Centre Arena? Most people haven&rsquo;t a clue about that event. The arena has had a tough time trying to stay afloat and the businesses in Hoffman Estates are hoping this tournament will be a boost. It is a real bargain with the tickets going for $15 a session. Next weekend when the men play at the United Center, you will see a lot more attention for that event (and pay much more).</p><p><strong>What was he thinking?</strong></p><p>Dennis Rodman being part of the theatre of the absurd is always a natural in the sports world. It is ridiculous and dangerous when the former Bulls player steps into the international political world. The eccentric and controversial former NBA player went to North Korea to be entertained and seen with the country&#39;s leader Kim Jong-Un, it made headlines. You would think it was a sketch from Saturday Night Live. A sketch would be funny, the real scenario was not and makes you wonder: what was Rodman thinking? Having been around Rodman while he played for the Bulls, he doesn&#39;t think, nor does he care about most things. Dennis just does what he wants to do and if he gets paid, so much the better.&nbsp; Maybe Rodman thought it was all fun and games like a reality show. But when he visits a country that has declared the U.S. as its sworn enemy, it begs the question: Does he have any common sense at all? Apparently not.</p><p><strong>Characters that will be missed</strong></p><p>Bears cutting ties with defensive back DJ Moore made a lot of reporters unhappy. He was one of the few players on that team that didn&rsquo;t filter his thoughts about anything and anyone (including Jay Cutler). His playing time diminished after he made the negative comments about the Bears QB. Coincidence?</p><p>The baseball season begins three weeks from Monday. I miss Ozzie Guillen! This will be the first time in years he will not be in a dug-out. Some how, some way he will be heard. &nbsp;</p><p><strong>Baseball is coming...</strong></p><p>Yesterday the White Sox extended the contract of&nbsp; left hand pitcher Chris Sale 5 years to the tune of $32.5 million. There are two two option years on the back end that can net him millions more.</p><p>And the Cubs are selling single game tickets today. Nice to think about baseball, when you have mounds of snow all around. Season begins April 1st - no fooling.</p><p>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">@CRayeStout</a> and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame</a></p></p> Fri, 08 Mar 2013 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-03/hot-hawks-cold-bulls-and-women-sports-characters-105953 Is the Bulls recent slump mental or physical? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-02/bulls-recent-slump-mental-or-physical-105798 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_1derrick_rose_rick_bowman_0.jpg" style="float: right; height: 427px; width: 300px;" title="Derrick Rose continues to rehab and shoots before games. (AP Photo/Rick Bowman)" />Are the Bulls troubles on and off the court wearing them down? Yesterday&#39;s win&nbsp; 93-82 over Philadelphia quiets those thoughts for a day. But the strife still seems to be there.</div><p>The team denies that the swirling talk about Derrick Rose is not a factor. Is he coming back? Is he sitting out the season? Reading comments by Derrick&rsquo;s brother opened a big can of worms.</p><p>While Rose continues to be silent, what the media gets to see and hear is limited. At practice we watch him shoot, just like he does before games. Coach Tom Thibodeau is repeatedly asked about the former NBA MVP&#39;s progress.&nbsp;</p><p>No one knows, except Rose and Bulls management, when or if he will be announced in the starting line-up of a game. Reporters are getting tired of asking about it. However, they get orders from their editors to stay on top of the story.&nbsp;</p><p>So when ESPN.com gets quotes from Derrick&#39;s brother Reggie, it set off a firestorm. Reggie expressed that the team needed to get better players at the trade deadline to surround&nbsp;Derrick and added it may impact&nbsp;his brother&#39;s return the Bulls. Players may feel a bit deflated hearing those comments.</p><p>Derrick released a very short, supportive press release about the Bulls organization. But the players have to be wondering if there are any smoldering negative feelings being directed to them by the older brother&#39;s words.</p><p>Since the stinging remarks, this Bulls team has struggled and at times they look lethargic. It was great to see Joakim Noah produce big numbers against the 76ers (23 points, 21 rebounds, 11 blocked shots) last night, but&nbsp;they were a Sixer team that has been very disappointing this year.&nbsp;&nbsp;Some of the Bulls troubles can be attributed to the injuries and the lack of bench depth, but still when you see a loss of energy, it&nbsp;makes you wonder about the mental fatigue that seems to be setting in with eight weeks left to the season.</p><p>Now is a big test to see if head coach Tom Thibodeau can cajole and inspire to keep the team on track. The past two years, he had the Bulls steamrolling to the season&rsquo;s finish line. One of the most obvious reasons was Derrick Rose, but last year Rose was in and out of the line-up due to various ailments. The bench was more galvanized and was stronger in their roles than the present one. Every player on the bench followed their assignments for their designated roles and this year it worked for a while, but some factors are making this a huge challenge.</p><p>The lack of depth with big men is starting to hurt the Bulls, now that Taj Gibson is out with a sprained knee. The Bulls forward will be lost for at least a few weeks, unless there are more issues with his injury. With Gibson out, a problem has developed in the rotation of the team&#39;s big men. When Thibodeau looks down and sees he has Nazr Mohammed and Vladimir Radmanovic to spell Joakim Noah&nbsp;and Carlos Boozer, he knows this team has a problem. Mohammed is at the end of his career and has not been much help and Radmanovic has only been used in &ldquo;mop-up&rdquo; situations. With Richard Hamilton getting sidelined with back spasms last night, seldom-used Daequan&nbsp;Cook made an appearance.&nbsp;The other big issue has been Kirk Hindrich, when he starts there seems to be calmness and a sense of direction with his job at point guard. He has missed so many games and his recent elbow trouble has impacted the cohesiveness of the starting unit. Both Nate Robinson and rookie Marquis Teague deficiencies are exposed when they play accumulative minutes. &nbsp;Hindrich was signed to keep the team going until Derrick Rose comes back and then he will lead the bench or play some two-guard with Rose.</p><p>This has to be a learning experience for Thibodeau. How much should he push? How demanding should he be at this point?&nbsp; He was able to get the most out of the team yesterday with four starters scoring in double digits (basically using just seven players).&nbsp;The Bulls need to figure out if they have enough to hang in there or will stagger down the stretch. If it is mental or physical, whatever may impede them from succeeding, the Bulls must figure it out with or without Derrick Rose</p><p>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">@CRayeStout</a> and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame</a></p></p> Fri, 01 Mar 2013 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-02/bulls-recent-slump-mental-or-physical-105798 The Bulls and Blackhawks are on the road again http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-01/bulls-and-blackhawks-are-road-again-105191 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/rsz_bulls_on_road.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In November it was the elephants and clowns taking over the United Center, now the <em>Disney on Ice</em> show takes center stage. This puts the Bulls and the Blackhawks on the road for a couple of weeks.&nbsp; During the &quot;Circus&quot; road trip the Bulls went 2-3, while most of the Hawks were still wondering if they would have a season.</p><p>The Blackhawks are on fire as they begin the shortened season with a 6-0-0 start, the best in team history. They hope is their energy and play won&#39;t cool off with the extended trip starting in Minnesota tonight, but the team is 4-0 on the road to start the season. No one is complaining about fatigue at this point, which is incredible considering they had no lengthy training camp and pre-season game schedule.</p><p><strong>The Blackhawks</strong></p><p>Here is what needs to happen for the road warriors:</p><p>-The penalty killing has been one of their best weapons; they killed six on Sunday against Detroit. It was one of the team weaknesses the past two seasons. This year they are the second best in the league, having given up just one power play goal so far.</p><p>-Corey Crawford in goal, the young goaltender has looked good after the first week in action. The team hopes he has matured into the job. He earned league honors for his play; Crawford posted five of the wins, 1.78 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage. Admitting he had an up and down year last season, Crawford said he figured it out: &quot;You have to every night give your guys a chance, I am paying more attention to that.&quot;</p><p>-It is difficult to just point out any other players, since you look throughout the different lines and see great contributions. There is a nice development with Marcus Kruger and Michael Frolik after they accepted their roles on special teams.</p><p>-Racking up the wins is important with a 48-game season, they will not go undefeated, but it really feels there is a sense of urgency to posting the W&#39;s. &nbsp;</p><p><strong>The Bulls</strong></p><p>During the Michael Jordan era, the Bulls were monsters on the road.&nbsp; For those teams it was like playing at home since it was a pro-Bulls, well actually, pro-Michael crowds in most arenas.&nbsp;</p><p>This season the Bulls have fared well away from the United Center, they hope last Saturday&rsquo;s loss to the Wizards in Washington was a hiccup and not a long range concern.</p><p>Tom Thibodeau&rsquo;s team will play ten of their next twelve games on the road, sandwiched in between are home games with Miami and San Antonio.</p><p>Here is what they need to do:</p><p>-Don&rsquo;t play down to their opponents, after a huge home win against Golden State on Friday they got tripped up in D.C. They begin with Milwaukee tonight, and the Bucks have beaten the Bulls twice at the United Center.</p><p>-Tough weekend, they travel to Brooklyn and Atlanta back to back. These will be a good test with these clubs. The Nets feel Joakim Noah&rsquo;s place on the All-Star team should have gone to Brooklyn Center Brooks Lopez. Atlanta will be looking for revenge. Just two weeks ago, the Bulls held them to 58 points, 5 in the second quarter, in the 97-58 final.</p><p>-Health will be a key, Luol Deng has returned from his hamstring injury, and Richard Hamilton is still limited with his foot problems.</p><p>-One nice dilemma for Coach Thibodeau is getting the minutes for his second year player Jimmy Butler after his success filling in for Deng. He is athletic, can defend and is full of energy- a nice commodity to have to come off the bench.</p><p>-As the days go by and the information is scarce, Derrick Rose continues to work out behind the curtain at the Berto.&nbsp; He has started working fully in practices. It will be interesting&nbsp;on the road in a non-controlling environment if the team will be able to shield what the Bulls guard is up to--especially in New York.</p><p>-When I asked All-Star&nbsp;Joakim Noah why this team has played so well on the road, he said with a wry smile, &ldquo;We cherish the villain role.&rdquo; &nbsp;Since they are leaving because of a Disney ice show, I asked what villain he was, &ldquo;Captain Hook,&rdquo; he said.&nbsp;</p><p>This Bulls&nbsp;team feels pretty good right now and when Rose comes back, expectations will go through the roof.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Follow Cheryl on Twitter @CRayeStout&lt;<a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">https://twitter.com/Crayestout</a>&gt; and Facebook Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame">http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame</a></p></p> Wed, 30 Jan 2013 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-01/bulls-and-blackhawks-are-road-again-105191 A missive to Derrick Rose about his team http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-01/missive-derrick-rose-about-his-team-105068 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_derrick_pre-bulls-atlanta_1.jpg" style="float: right; height: 209px; width: 300px;" title="Derrick's workouts before the games has captured attention. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)" />Dear Derrick,</div><p>Tonight is game 41 of the Bulls schedule, exactly half way through the season. You are missed and everyone can&#39;t wait for your return (soon, right?). Despite many skeptics, you will be coming back to a team that has fared pretty well so far.</p><p>Here is why they are 24-16 and in a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference:</p><p>- The front court has three players that are playing at All-Star capability. Last year&#39;s All-Star, Luol Deng, has been playing a ton of minutes (not surprising) and does all the little things: defending the top scorers, forcing turnovers and averaging 17 points a game. Deng injured his hamstring and has been out for two games. Joakim Noah has been the engine of this team, he should get a spot on the All-Star team (some bloggers are even promoting it). Noah is playing big time minutes. He has added offense to a game that has been good on defense. His passes and free throw shooting have improved. Both Noah and Carlos Boozer are the only two teammates in the NBA that are averaging double-digits in points and rebounds for the season. Boozer, in fact, leads the Eastern Conference with 23 double-double games. The surge for the former All-Star Boozer has been what the front office has been waiting for since he signed. He even took Eastern Conference &quot;Player of the Week&quot; honors just the other day.</p><p>-Your position at point guard has been a bit of a yo-yo, no one can replace you, and it is a matter of just filling the spot until your much anticipated return. The effort of Kirk Hinrich is there; unfortunately his body has been racked with injuries.When he does play, Hinrich contributes in defense and running the offense. He has been limited in scoring and that is where first year Bull Nate Robinson picks up some of the slack. Robinson is a loose cannon and can be a spark or an overloaded circuit. If the Bulls are down, Nate can help with some instant offense. But there are times when he plays out of control or doesn&#39;t get into the offense fast enough. Rookie Marquis Teague, 19, has a long way to go. There were some moments where he played well with his minutes. Lately, he has been lost on defense and teams have taken advantage of that weakness.</p><p>-Your running partner in the starting backcourt, Richard Hamilton, has had difficulty with injuries again. This time it&#39;s his foot, he has missed time with fasciitis. Hamilton remains an effective player with the &quot;pick and roll&quot; during the precious minutes on the court.</p><p>-Of course when you return Derrick, the bench has been revamped, except for Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler. Gibson inked a new contract and it seemed to affect his play. Now he seems to be back on track. Last season Taj and Omer Asik were such a great front court tandem off the bench. Asik is playing well as a starting center for Houston. New Bulls center Nazr Mohammed has not had an impact and has been used sparingly off the bench. Butler has developed more this season, last year he was hampered because of the NBA lock-out. This summer he was able to work out with the team, played in the summer league and had the benefit of a full training camp. Coach Thibodeau now trusts Butler with solid minutes off the bench, especially on defense. While Luol Deng nurses a sore hamstring, Butler has been the starting small forward and has been productive. He did an outstanding job on Kobe Bryant. His teammates called him the &quot;Kobe Stopper&quot; in the locker room.&nbsp;Marco Belinelli found it hard at first to fit the &ldquo;Thibs&rdquo; system (defense will get you on the court). He has improved. Daequan Cook recently joined the team after being released by&nbsp;Houston&nbsp;and no one seems to know exactly why Vladimir Radmanovic is even wearing a Bulls jersey.</p><p>-There are a few puzzling problems for this Bulls team. There have been some bad losses: Charlotte, Phoenix and twice to Milwaukee at home. Yet on the road it has been a different story: beating Miami, New York and Boston.</p><p>-Tom Thibodeau is coaching his butt off and was rewarded with a four year contract extension. His philosophy of hard work and a tenacious defense is still his trademark. Some of the new players are slowly but surely buying into this system.</p><p>-There is no doubt that your coach and your teammates can&rsquo;t wait to see you back on the floor. Thibodeau has indicated that you have started practicing with some contact. That could mean only one thing, Derrick: you are nearing a time to play for real. Your work outs before games on the court have been dialed up. The intensity is starting to appear on your face. The fans are stacked up near the court as you and the Bulls coaching staff work on your shooting. When you do comeback, your minutes will be limited. There will be an adjustment period to get used to the front court that has been carrying the load. Everyone has been patient, but now they can&rsquo;t wait for the Rose to bloom.</p><p>Sincerely,</p><p>A more than a casual observer</p><p>P.S. It was nice seeing you greet your teammates at the locker room door after the win against the Lakers on Monday. The way you ran down the hallway to celebrate was pretty impressive.</p><p>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout" target="_blank">@CRayeStout</a> and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame" target="_blank">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame</a></p></p> Wed, 23 Jan 2013 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-01/missive-derrick-rose-about-his-team-105068