Rose has a believer in Thunder’s Durant


Oct 23

Though he hasn’t spoke to Derrick Rose since Rose began attacking the rehabilitation of his left knee, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant believes he has a pretty good idea of what to expect from someone he’s considered a friend for the last two years.

“I’m sure he’s going to have a really, really nice comeback here for the Bulls and be at full strength,” said Durant of Rose on Tuesday night.

Durant and Rose first got to know each other when they were teammates on the 2010 USA World Championship Team that finished 9-0 and won gold at the FIBA World Championship.

Westbrook, Rose and DurantLike many around the league, Durant has been watching the adidas “Return of D Rose” videos and he is convinced that the Bulls point guard will eventually be back at the same level he was before the injury—and then some.

“I think he’ll be better with all that weight training he’s doing, strengthening his body and his core,” said Durant. “He’s doing everything he needs to do. Like I said, he’s going to come back stronger and better.”

One reporter joked that Rose recovering from injury gave Durant’s teammate, Russell Westbrook, a bit of a break this past offseason. Rose and Westbrook have trained together in Los Angeles since the two entered the NBA and both have enjoyed high levels of success early in their professional careers.

“Those guys compete against each other every year,” said Durant of Rose and Westbrook. “Every summer, they push each other. You’ve seen they’ve gained success over the years because of it.”

Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks, who saw one of his players, Eric Maynor, return from an ACL injury this fall, also offered his take on what athletes who suffer such an injury face as they work their way back.

“You have to fight through every day,” said Brooks. “You can’t take days off and you can’t get down on yourself or down on the situation. You have to continue to fight with a good, positive attitude, and that’s what Eric has done. From what I understand, that’s what Derrick is doing also.”

Brooks reported Maynor is back at 100 percent and he believes the same can be true for any player who endures the rehab process.

“It comes back,” said Brooks. “Eric hasn’t lost any of his quickness or strength. It comes back. I’ve never had an ACL injury, but that’s probably one of the things as an athlete that you fear, that you’re not going to be the same. But you will be the same with the work that you put in. The type of care that players have, you will be the same, if not better.”

Chicago’s Mohammed made his mark in Oklahoma City

Prior to joining the Bulls for his 15th professional season, Bulls reserve center Nazr Mohammed spent a season and a half in Oklahoma City.

Last season, as the Thunder advanced to the NBA Finals, he saw action in eight postseason games, averaging 2.3 points and 2.0 rebounds in 10.4 minutes per game.

While Thunder coach Scott Brooks said Mohammed definitely helped his team on the floor, it was what he did off the court where he had perhaps his greatest impact.

“He was a big part of our success,” said Brooks of Mohammed. “The guy is a true professional. He works every day [and it’s not just when the lights are on]; he’s always working and always putting in extra time in the weight room, cardio room and on the practice floor. He’s somebody that you want your young players to be around. He can still play. He had some good games for us.”

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