Thibodeau: Rose is 'getting closer'

981231.jpg

Thibodeau: Rose is 'getting closer'

NEW YORKTom Thibodeau wouldnt say itthats not his stylebut the Bulls head coach indicated that Derrick Rose is closer to taking another major step in his recovery process.

Rose, whos taken part in drills featuring predictable contact as of late, could be nearing the stage where hes practicing as a full participant.

Well sort of evaluate it every week. Hes getting closer because hes taken on some contact, but its a step-by-step process and hes doing well. But everyone has to be patient, Thibodeau said before the Bulls 108-101 win Friday night over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Hes done his work, so its a well mapped-out plan. He goes step by step and when he handles one step well and hes comfortable, he moves on to the next one.

Hes not the first guy whos had this injury and I think when you look at the number of guys who have had the injury and what theyre doing after the injury, I think it tells you a lot about where medicine is today and what the rehab for the injury is, the coach continued.

Its a long process, so hes got a ways to go. He hasnt gone through a full practice yet. Hes got to do that for an extended amount of time, but hes doing extremely well. Hes approached it great. You couldnt ask for anything more and our team has done a great job with their approach, and thats the way we want to keep it right now.

Reading between the lines usually isnt advisable when it comes to coach-speak, especially when it involves injuries, but for Thibodeau, known for keeping things close to the vest, to not downplay things or give his standard response to a question about Rose is at the least, not discouraging.

The coach was outright positive when describing Roses mental state these days: You guys know him. Theres high maintenance, low maintenance and no maintenance, and thats Derrick. Thats who he is. Hes just a great team player, great teammate, hes mentally strong, hes got a great will and so, he understands what he has to go through and hes done a great job with it.

None of the above means anything definitive, but as Roses eventual return to the court looms, its heartening to know that things are still going according to schedule, regardless of whether the Bulls see fit to disclose that timetable.

How many more championships does LeBron James have to win to be in the conversation with Michael Jordan?

How many more championships does LeBron James have to win to be in the conversation with Michael Jordan?

LeBron James has made a ridiculous seven straight NBA Finals, putting him (again) at the center of the 'Greatest Player of All-Time' debate. 

Ahead of his third straight championship series against the Golden State Warriors, James discussed how his streak will shape his place among the greats.  

"I think it's gonna be great for my legacy," James said to reporters. "Once I'm done playing the game, when we look back on the game, and we say, 'Oh, this guy went to three straight finals, four straight finals, five, six, whatever, seven.' I think it's great to be talked about, to see what I've been able to accomplish as an individual. You talk about longevity and being able to just play at a high level for a long period of time, and I've been fortunate enough to be able to do that." 

The SportsTalk Live panel discussed his comments and debated how many more rings The King would need to be in the conversation with Michael Jordan. 

Here's what each had to say: 

CSN's Mark Schanowski

"He would have to win three to reach Jordan's six just to be in the conversation. All those losses in the finals are obviously going to have an impact, so we'll give LeBron the sportsmanship ribbon. Michael just collects rings." 

WGN Radio's Mark Carman

"I would say 100. I'm not giving that up ever. Yes, I am extremely biased. But listen, this is an incredible opportunity for him. You've got a phenomenal Warriors team. You've got, for whatever reason, Las Vegas is making Cleveland a huge underdog. This is a great chance for him" 

Bleacher Report's Seth Gruen 

"To me, it's not a number. To me, he's gotta stop talking like that because that's loser talk. And I don't mean to come off with this sort of meatballish take, but the reality is you would have never heard Michael Jordan say that. And that's why Lebron gets so much flack in the conversation comparing the two because he's in the business of raising trophies, not second place." 

Chicago Tribune's Chris Hine 

"I think when it comes to Jordan, as somebody who didn't grow up in Chicago, I want him to get closer to six titles because I wanna see this town explode over the debate between LeBron and Jordan. I think to have a legitimate case, though, and to at least put it in people's mind that he's better than Jordan, he's got to at least get to six."  

Could Derrick Rose reunite with Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota?

Could Derrick Rose reunite with Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota?

Tom Thibodeau was without Derrick Rose for the first time in his head-coaching career last season, coaching the Timberwolves while Rose suited up for the New York Knicks.

But a reunion may be on the horizon. Rose is an unrestricted free agent and the Timberwolves, though they don't have a real need at point guard, are showing interest in the Chicago native. We'll have to wait until July 1, when free agency begins, to see what happens.

See what special guest Nick Friedell, Bulls beat reporter for ESPN, had to say about the topic on SportsTalk Live in the video above.