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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Ron Tillery - Short memory for former Tiger Rose

Short memory for former Tiger Rose
By Ronald Tillery, Memphis Commercial Appeal
Sunday, November 2, 2008

He's already forgotten:

The dazzling spotlight on a national stage with a team primed for great achievements.


The ridiculously dominant run through Conference USA.

The shake-the-haters-off tournament run that ended in a NCAA national title game appearance.

The southern hospitality and admiration.

Derrick Rose has a startling and sad case of amnesia when it comes to University of Memphis basketball, the city and its loyal fans.

During pregame introductions with his NBA team, the Chicago Bulls, Rose is announced as being from "Chicago" and not Memphis where he played his college basketball last year.

No, this isn't done by mistake. It's done by design. It's done with Rose's unfortunate consent.

"It was my idea," the talented point guard said. "They asked me about it, I thought about it a while and I finally came up with the decision to announce I'm from (Chicago). I've been here my whole life and I was in Memphis only one year, so I think the fans in Memphis will understand."

Sure, Rose played just one season for Memphis.

Sure, he's a Chicago product living the dream of playing pro ball where he grew up.

Sure, it's Rose's prerogative to orchestrate his nightly introduction.

This much is certain, too: It's a slap in the face to Memphis no matter how much Rose hopes for understanding.

Where's Steven Black when you need him?

Worrisome Warriors

Monta Ellis was suspended 30 games (fined $3 million) for his moped escapade. His camp is now arguing (in an official grievance) that the Warriors' can't also punish him by saying that if Ellis doesn't return totally healthy they can still fine/suspend/terminate the deal.

Although Ellis' appeal has been expected for weeks, it comes on the heels of Al Harrington publicly demanding a trade, and as reports surface that the Warriors are already in a legal dispute with former coach Mike Montgomery.

Media covering the Warriors confirmed that Montgomery is in arbitration over payments Golden State stopped making after Montgomery was fired two seasons into the four-year, $10 million deal he signed in 2004.

And, oh yeah, Al Harrington wants to be traded.

"I've wanted to be traded since the end of last season," said Harrington, who doesn't like playing for coach Don Nelson. "I was hoping things were going to work out between me and Nellie, but I don't think that's going to happen."

Love from the bench

The only other time Kevin Love can remember not starting a basketball game was UCLA's Senior Night last season, when the freshman deferred to Lorenzo Mata-Real for the game's opening tip.

Last Wednesday, Love made his NBA debut when he entered Minnesota's season-opening victory over Sacramento late in the first quarter. The best player on his team all his life until now, Love is the NBA newcomer who knows he must prove he is tall enough, athletic enough, talented enough and fit enough to warrant Minnesota's big draft-night trade that brought his draft rights from Memphis in an eight-player deal.

"People, wherever they are, they like to doubt me because they say, 'He's a slow, white guy, he can't get off the ground,'" Love said. "No matter what, I'm going to get it done. I'll show people that, too."

Comback on track

Former slam dunk champ Gerald Green is with his fourth team in four years after entering the NBA out of a Houston area high school. Dallas has been pleased with him because he not only is a great athlete but he's been a better shooter than they expected. Green regularly ends practice by shooting 25 3-pointers and has made as many as 18.

"Based on his preseason, he's certainly in the equation as a guy we got to consider for the rotation," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "But in the last game, you saw some of the things that have been his nemeses: over-dribbling a little bit, turnovers, a couple defensive mistakes.

"But he established over the first seven games some real consistency in those areas. So I don't look at those things as super-negatives."

First time for Wade

Miami's Dwyane Wade has accomplished plenty in the NBA so there's not much to shoot for other than another title. Believe it or not, though, Wade has never been captain for the Heat.

For the first time in his six seasons, Wade has been named a Heat captain, sharing the designation with Udonis Haslem and Shawn Marion.

"Anytime you get a distinction of leadership, it's always great," Wade said.

Life is good for Wade. After months of rehabilitation on his troublesome left knee, a month with the U.S. national team at the Beijing Olympics, and then a month of training camp that included a week in Europe, Wade nonetheless said he feels refreshed.

"I've been healthy for a whole summer," he said, having led the U.S. Olympic team in scoring on the way to the gold medal. "Coming into the season, I feel good and ready to go: Nothing to worry about right now, hopefully nothing to worry about any time soon."

House hunting

Dwight Howard, the Magic's brutally strong big man, is apparently making the most of a struggling Florida economy and housing market.

Howard bought a spacious new house in Seminole County for $8 million -- possibly the priciest single-family home on record in a county known for its mini-mansions.

The Chateau d'Usse, which had been listed for $9.7 million, captured all the awards earlier this year during the local Street of Dreams luxury-home show. The 11,026-square-foot home in the upscale Lake Club development is described as a "castle."

From the baseline

Shaun Livingston's comeback in Miami is reminding some of last season's Penny Hardaway experiment. Livingston knows what to do with the ball and where to be, but has physical limitations in getting there. Cleveland is supposedly "monitoring" New York power forward Zach Randolph. But the Cavs aren't interested in acquiring a large contract. They want to keep financial flexibility for 2010 when James can become a free agent. When the Celtics raised their 17th world championship banner to the rafters the Cavs decided to stay in the locker room for the affair. Said Celtics coach Doc Rivers: "I didn't know they were invited." This week, the Milwaukee Bucks announced a promotion in which all of the seats in the upper bowl will go for $10 in November and December. Those seats in the past have gone for $24 or $29.

10 from Tillery

How young is the NBA getting? Elias Sports Bureau calculated the average age of the eight youngest teams in the league based on opening-night rosters. Below are the teams in order by average age in years:

----Begin Table----

Team / Average / Players /

1. Golden State Warriors / 24.192 / 15 /

2. Portland Trail Blazers / 24.399 / 15 /

3. Memphis Grizzlies / 24.784 / 14 /

4. Charlotte Bobcats / 25.128 / 14 /

5. Oklahoma City Thunder / 25.184 / 15 /

6. Chicago Bulls / 25.411 / 14 /

7. Atlanta Hawks / 25.415 / 15 /

8. New Jersey Nets / 25.804 / 15 /

9. League average / 26.815 /15 /

1 comment:

Charlie said...

Reverse it, Ron.

Say there's a Memphis high school phenom who goes and plays one season at Northwestern.

He's taken the #1 pick by the Grizzlies.

He 'comes home'.

Would he be announced as being from Northwestern?

I think not.

Maybe this post--I realize you made it some months ago--was a stretch.