New Orleans Pelicans shooting guard Eric Gordon has known Derrick Rose well since high school, and he definitely feels his pain.
Gordon and Rose, the Chicago Bulls point guard, teamed in the backcourt on the Chicago-based summer basketball team Mean Streets. Rose, the first pick in the 2008 draft and the NBA’s 2011 MVP, had surgery Friday on his right meniscus. It was his third knee surgery since 2012, including one to repair a torn ACL.
“It’s tough — a tough deal,” Gordon said. “What people don’t understand is that when you have injury after injury, it’s always tough to deal with it (mentally). As guards, you have to be very explosive, and it’s tough when you want to do everything you’re capable of doing — because everybody has a high expectation of him — and you can’t do the things you want to.”
Gordon had surgery on his right knee during the 2011-12 season, his first in New Orleans, then spent the next season on a schedule that restricted his minutes and didn’t allow him to play back-to-back games. There’s pressure to play, with Gordon earning nearly $15 million per season and Rose having a maximum, $90 million contract with the Bulls.
Gordon once was known for his drives to the basket. He said Rose, relentless in that aspect, may have to change his game some.
“You can’t expect someone to be the same after so many surgeries in a short time,” Gordon said. “I had to start taking more jump shots to prolong my career. You have to be smart and pick your spots better. But he’ll be fine. It takes time. It may take a year, year and a half to start getting back to where he was.”
Pelicans in All-Star talks
The NBA All-Star Game could be returning to New Orleans in 2019, Pelicans president Dennis Lauscha said.
He said conversations with NBA officials during this year’s All-Star break indicate the league is eager to bring the event back to the Smoothie King Center. New Orleans hosted the All-Star weekend in 2008 and 2014.
“Everyone loved having it here, the way the city is able to give them whatever they want, its compactness, the weather — everything,” Lauscha said. “It’s just a great place to have the game, and the league recognizes it.”
The 2016 game will be in Toronto, and Charlotte, Portland and Orlando are among the choices for the 2017 and ’18 games. Having it in 2018 in New Orleans would conflict with Mardi Gras. The 2020 and ’21 games would conflict with Mardi Gras and events at the Morial Convention Center, Lauscha said. The next open date for New Orleans is 2022. From 2023-26, there would be a conflict with Mardi Gras or the Convention Center.
The NBA is discussing extending its season, though, so that could change things.
Point guard Tyreke Evans has been dealing with a cold or sinus-type ailment that has had him under the weather the past week, he said.
When he took himself out of Monday night’s game against Toronto, coach Monty Williams said he didn’t expect him to play again that night.
“He said he couldn’t breathe,” Williams said.
But Evans went back in and finished the game. For the next game, Wednesday against Brooklyn, Evans was ready. He had an asthma pump, he said, that he used and was able to play without incident.
The morning of Friday’s game, he was in the locker room with his left foot wrapped in ice. He has a sore foot and knee issues. Asked whether he would be playing, he said, “If I’m not dying, I’m playing.”
Evans averaged 15.7 points and 11.3 assists in those games.