- Created on 29 October 2013
(AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh)
MIAMI (AP) — Derrick Rose emerged Tuesday morning from the tunnel connecting the visiting locker room and the court where the Miami Heat play their home games.
He surveyed his surroundings, and made no effort to hide his enthusiasm.
"For us, to be playing our first game here, it's unreal," Rose said. "And I hope everybody enjoys it."
Ring night for the Heat will be Rose night for the Chicago Bulls, who get their best player and 2011 NBA MVP back on Tuesday night when the Eastern Conference rivals open the season against one another.
The 25-year-old Rose will be playing in his first real game — not counting preseason exhibitions — since a knee injury derailed him in April 2012. A year and a half later, Chicago's superstar point guard is back, saying he's better.
Rose believes there is no more of a fitting opponent to debut against than the two-time defending NBA champions, who will be hoisting their newest banner in an elaborate pregame ceremony.
"They've got something that we want, so we can't hold back," Rose said Tuesday before the Bulls went through a shootaround practice. "They have great players on their team. They're trying to three-peat. They've won two already, so there's a little bit of a rivalry there."
That's also a little bit of an understatement.
The Bulls' postseason runs in 2011 and 2013 ended against Miami, and the teams make little secret of their collective dislike for one another. On Monday, Heat star LeBron James — the winner of the four of the last five NBA MVP awards, with Rose claiming the other in that span — said after Miami practiced, "We don't like them and they don't like us."
Rose didn't necessarily disagree.
"It leads to this where it feels like you hate one another' Rose said, "but you're just trying to get the same thing."
Rose was asked about if this is the best Bulls team assembled since the Michael Jordan era (he seems to think so) and if he plans on recapturing his MVP form.
His answer there was clear — that's not the trophy he wants.
"I'm just trying to play the game," Rose said. "Of course I want to come out here and be the best player, but my whole goal is to come out here and just try to win a championship. ... Winning MVP or whatever, I'll take it, don't get me wrong. But my job is to come out here and just try to win a title."
- Created on 29 October 2013
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Patrick Sharp finally scored, Nick Leddy jump-started Chicago's stagnant special teams with a power-play goal and the Blackhawks beat the Minnesota Wild 5-1 on Monday night.
Corey Crawford made 29 saves, and Sheldon Brookbank, Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad all scored to give the Blackhawks just their third game of more than three goals in 12 contests this season.
After giving up 11 goals while losing their previous two games, the Blackhawks played tougher defense, were more disciplined and paid the Wild back for their 5-3 win Saturday in Chicago.
Jason Pominville had a goal for the Wild, his third in two games to tie it at 1 midway through the second period, but Niklas Backstrom never found his footing in the net.
- Created on 28 October 2013
Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey was served with a subpoena by Massachusetts State Police at Gillette Stadium on Sunday afternoon, as first reported by Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel and Greg Bedard. The subpoena is related to the investigation of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez's connections to interstate gun trafficking, according to an unnamed SI source.
Citing unnamed Dolphins sources, Albert Breer of NFL.com also reported that Pouncey had been served with a subpoena outside the visitors' locker room on Sunday after the Patriots defeated the Dolphins 27-17 in Foxborough, Mass. Breer reported that the subpoena doesn't necessarily mean Pouncey is "is being implicated in any wrongdoing." Similarly, the Sports Illustrated report indicated authorities view Pouncey "as a material witness who could advance their case against Hernandez."
Neither the NFL or the Patriots were aware that papers were going to be served following the game at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, reported Kevin Clark of the Wall Street Journal, citing an unnamed source familiar with the matter.
"The next thing that will happen is Pouncey will have to find a lawyer," ESPN legal analyst Lester Munson explained after the SI report. "He's going to have to decide whether he is going to answer questions from the prosecutors in Massachusetts or he's going to protect himself with the fifth amendment. And then the state police will evaluate everything that Pouncey says and determine the next step in the investigation."
The 24-year-old offensive lineman and his twin brother, Maurkice, attended the University of Florida with Hernandez. The Pouncey brothers' friendship with Hernandez generated headlines in July when they were photographed at a nightclub wearing hats with the message "FREE HERNANDEZ.
- Created on 28 October 2013
(AP Photo / Alex Brandon, File)
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) -- After saying he's going to "take peoples' knees out" to avoid another suspension for hits to the head, Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather has struck another blow - saying that "people who beat their girlfriends should be kicked out of the league."
Meriweather's comments were a direct retort at the checkered domestic violence past of Chicago Bears receiver Brandon Marshall, who last week suggested that players such as Meriweather should perhaps be "taken out of the game completely" to make the game safer.
"Everybody got their opinion," Meriweather said Monday. "If he feel like, you know, I need to be kicked out of the league, I feel like people who beat their girlfriends should be kicked out of the league, too. You tell me who you'd rather have - somebody who plays aggressive on the field, or somebody who beat up their girlfriend?"
Marshall's career has occasionally been overshadowed by off-the-field troubles, including multiple arrests following confrontations with a girlfriend when he was playing for the Denver Broncos. None of the arrests led to a conviction.
Marshall declined comment when approached by reporters in the Bears' locker room on Monday. Shortly after Meriweather's comments, he tweeted: "There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing."
Monday was Meriweather's first day back with the Redskins following a one-game suspension for multiple helmet-first hits against defenseless receivers, including two in the Redskins' win over the Bears last week. One of the hits was against Marshall in the end zone on an incomplete pass in the fourth quarter.
Meriweather, who was fined for a helmet-first hit against the Green Bay Packers earlier in this season, was initially suspended for two games by the NFL. He had the sanction cut in half after an appeal.
Asked if he plans to change how he plays, Meriweather said: "I guess I've just got to take people's knees out. I'd hate to end a guy's career over a rule, but I guess it's better (for something to happen to) other people than me getting suspended for longer."
"You've just got to go low now," he said. "You've got to end people's career. You've got to tear people's ACLs and mess up people's knees now. You can't hit 'em high anymore."
Meriweather said earlier this season that he had changed his approach, yet he was still getting flagged.
"I just have to change more now," he said. "They told me to use my shoulder; I used my shoulder - I still get fined. They still say I used my head. ... Everybody is looking at the tape and saying, 'Oh, he's a dirty player, he's this, he's that,' which I get, but the thing about it - go look at the tape. I didn't use my head in either hit, and I'm moving on from it."
Meriweather conceded that he did launch himself at one of the defensive receivers against the Bears, another no-no as the league tries to cut down on injuries.
Meriweather said attacking receivers' knees will require some practice.
"Once you do something so much, it becomes habit," he said. "And I think if in practice I simulate going low, I think it'll become habit and I'll be able to do it in the game."