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9.27 The Cooler

NBA training camps get started; all eyes on Bosh and Luol Deng

By 09.27.09
Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh

Now that NBA training camps are underway, some guys will have to get used to having all eyes on them — or more specifically, all eyes on their knees, shoulders, ankles, etc. — waiting to see if they’ll hold up or crumble like a toothpick sculpture … Chris Bosh wasn’t supposed to be on that list, especially given the results we’d seen from his offseason workout, but then he tweaked his hamstring right before Raptors camp opened. Bosh apparently hurt himself while playing golf, which just sounds like the first chapter of another bad-luck season in Toronto … Jose Calderon is coming off his own hamstring injury that bothered him all of last year, but after skipping the FIBA European Championships (Spain won gold without him anyway), he says he’s ready to run. Talking about how the injury affected him, Calderon said he often had to settle for jumpers, and added, “I couldn’t play defense.” But that had nothing to do with the hamstring … Andrei Kirilenko also sat out the FIBA tourney (Russia didn’t do as well without him), spending his summer putting on 20 pounds of good weight. After the Jazz were knocked out of the playoffs, AK-47 admitted he usually loses about 10 pounds over the course of the season. So Jerry Sloan told him to bulk up, and he did. If Kirilenko can get stronger without losing his quickness — a.k.a. not turn into Jimmy Jackson — the Jazz will be a lot better than an 8th seed … Luol Deng had “minor soreness” in his injured leg after the Bulls’ first practice, and while the team is monitoring him closely, it’s not expected to be a major deal. Deng needs a breakout this year, and it starts with him staying healthy. If he and John Salmons can make up for Ben Gordon‘s scoring, and Derrick Rose keeps being Derrick Rose, the Bulls will be dangerous again in the East. Nobody’s expecting Deng to be the next Scottie Pippen; a simple Josh Howard impersonation will be good enough … Jerome James was actually, like, doing stuff at Chicago’s practice. One local paper said ‘Rome was “moving at a slow jog.” Little do they know, that’s his sprint … Mike Dunleavy Jr. (knee) is also on the injury watch list, being held to limited work at Pacers camp, while Tyler Hansbrough (shin) is sidelined for the time being … Have you seen the cell phone ad with Hansbrough where he helps the little girl find her missing dog? Did Tyler’s people actually intend to promote him as the exact opposite of Michael Vick, or was that just a coincidence? … As if you needed another reason to laugh at Sasha Vujacic: He was ordered to cut his hair by Phil Jackson before showing up to Lakers camp. Sasha did as he was told, and somehow it’s supposed to have something to do with him playing better this year. “Sasha played with his hair last year more than he played on the court,” Jackson said, once again taking the early lead in the Coldest Public Insult By An NBA Coach contest … Going into yesterday’s college football schedule, Greg Paulus ranked 3rd in the Big East in passing yards, somewhere in the middle of the pack in QB rating, and had been sacked more than anyone else in the conference. On Saturday he got to pad his stats against poor little Maine, racking up 271 yards on 21-of-28 attempts, tossing two TD’s and not getting sacked once … We’re out like Sasha’s hair …


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