By Philip Rossman-Reich
Rose returns to road trip with team
The Bulls should get an emotional boost on this quick two-game road trip as point guard Derrick Rose is traveling with the team. Rose will not be available to the media however, a Bulls spokesman said.
Rose will likely miss the season after undergoing right knee surgery, sending the Bulls into a bit of a scramble at point guard. Kirk Hinrich was filling in before he got hurt and the team signed D.J. Augustin to fill the void.
Hinrich is back now. And Rose is back traveling with the team since their Circus Trip in December.
“It’s nice having him around,” Kirk Hinrich said. “You see him some, but it’s nice to have him traveling with the team.”
Rose being on the trip is a sign that he is progressing through his rehab and still wants to be a part of the team and involved with the team as it fights to climb higher in the Eastern Conference without him.
No doubt though, the Bulls would love to have their star player on the court helping them get wins.
Erik Murphy returns to ‘second home state’
After a Bulls team meeting Tuesday night, Erik Murphy piled into a car with a former teammates’ father and made the hour and a half trek up the Florida Turnpike to Gainesville to see the second half (at least) of No. 7 Florida’s 72-50 win over Georgia.
Murphy averaged 12.2 points per game while shooting 51.6 percent from the field and 45.3 percent from beyond the arc as a senior last year in Gainesville. His ability to spread the floor at 6-foot-10 helped propel the Gators to three consecutive Elite Eight appearances.
Gator fans are certainly still appreciative of his four years in orange and blue and Murphy hears it everywhere he goes. None may be more obvious than tonight in Orlando.
“Everywhere I go, there’s always Gators. I probably get more recognition even in Chicago for playing for Florida than playing for the Bulls. Gator Nation is strong throughout the country. That network is unbelievable. Everywhere I got, whether it is Chicago or anywhere else on the road, there is somebody with a Florida hat or sweatshirt yelling ‘Go Gators.’”
Murphy’s brother, who currently plays for Florida, will be among the friends making the return trip south to Orlando to see Murphy play.