In their last preseason win over Memphis, Kirk Hinrich morphed into a red-faced monster for a five or six minute span of the third quarter, and while he had the whole crowd in the Windy City on its feet, they have to know it’s not always going to be that easy in the CHI this year. Luckily for Bulls fans, Derrick Rose told ESPN Chicago he’s not only ahead of schedule, but also that he plans to come back when he’s ready to play as opposed to sitting out the season. Tim Hardaway hasn’t been the only one who’s expressed concern in the past over Rose coming back too soon, and yes, if you really want to be careful, it’s probably better if D-Rose doesn’t play at all this year. But you can never completely tell with these things – it all depends, oftentimes, on how someone can overcome them mentally once they retake the court. Do they play with the same reckless abandon, like Michael Jordan once did after his only major injury? Are they avoiding hits, like Gilbert Arenas once did in Washington? Are they unafraid, like the modern day Peyton Manning? … If it wasn’t for Holger Geschwindner, Dirk Nowitzki would’ve ended up with a beer belly. At least, that’s what the former MVP admitted to Spiegel Online International. Holger, you probably don’t know the name but you know the man – the less green version of Yoda who pushed Dirk to practice funky shots, and pushed him so hard that Nowitzki not only developed despite an admittedly lazy attitude but became one of the best international players ever – compared Dirk’s initial initiation to the NBA as something straight out of Jerry Maguire. If they were going to make a movie about Dirk’s career, and they really should, who gets to play the big German? … On his way to China, Tracy McGrady made sure to take a moment to thank not only the fans, but pretty much everyone who had something to do with his success in the NBA. Even if you think he didn’t always play hard, the dude is one of the all-time good guys in the league. So sad to see him go. He’ll probably never play here again, retiring without a single second round appearance. Here’s an incredible T-Mac in Toronto mix with a bunch of super rare footage. Thank us later … And there’s one overlooked aspect of Brooklyn’s season that really sucks: no more DeShawn Stevenson. Imagine that dude on “The Association?” You already have D-Will, you got Jay-Z, Beyonce. The NBA’s version of Riff Raff would’ve topped it off. Instead he’s in Atlanta, and is busy dissing Williams. Yep, Stevenson called out his former teammate on Twitter after Williams told ESPN The Mag that certain members of last year’s team didn’t take losing seriously: “I hate Fake Muthafuckers That Quit On team but talk shit in Espn Mag .” Shots fired … Keep reading to hear which rookie hit a game-winner …
Terrence Jones came off the pine to score 20 points in Houston’s 107-105 win over OKC, a game that turned into a battle of the benches in the second half … He’s one of our favorite “IDGAF” players in the whole league, and last night, Russell Westbrook (19 points in 16 minutes) went at Jeremy Lin harcore, like “Cappadonna on ‘Winter Warz'” hardcore. He posted up Linsanity almost every time down during the game’s opening minutes, and had 10 of the Thunder’s first dozen points. Seven minutes into the game, he’d already scored 16 points and had left Lin with a permanent sad face. Houston’s new lead guard is lucky they called the dogs off in this one. Russ West looked like he wanted to drop a half dollar … There’s been some buzz coming out of San Antonio about some rook named Nando De Colo. Last night in San Antonio’s two-point win over Atlanta, he lived up to it, scoring 11 (with nine dimes) but more importantly going one-on-one with the game on the line and canning a jumper … Without Kobe, who sat out with a strained shoulder (after dunking on everyone in practice), Portland destroyed the Lakers, 93-75. Damian Lillard led the way with 14 points and seven dimes … DeMarcus Cousins had 21 points and nine rebounds during Sacramento’s 102-96 W over the Suns … Andre Drummond had 12 points, seven boards, two blocks (including an explosive help-side swat), two steals, a trio of beast mode alley-oops with Will Bynum, and the game-winning bucket in Detroit’s 101-99 win against Toronto. On the other side, in a loss, DeMar DeRozan killed in the style department (easy 17 points, a memorable one-handed rim rocker, and a pair of sick Air Jordan 14s). But he also airballed a pull-up jumper with 10 seconds left and a chance to take the lead … Paul George led all scorers with 16, and yet Minnesota easily beat the Pacers, 84-70. Why? Kevin Love, and especially Nikola Pekovic completely dominated the Pacers frontline, holding Roy Hibbert to five points and four rebounds while combining for 26 points and 13 boards … And if you couldn’t get anymore excited about the start of the NBA season, which is now less than three weeks away, Gerald Wallace said this an ESPN video about the opening game between the Knicks and Nets: “It’s going to be one of the biggest games in NBA history.” … We’re out like Jeremy Lin’s swagger.
Follow Dime Magazine on Twitter
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook