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Joakim Noah lashes out at Derrick Rose critics

Tuesday, May 7
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Noah lashes out at Rose critics

The big news stemmed from Chicago's Game 1 win over the Heat, but center Joakim Noah managed to slip in a message for critics of teammate Derrick Rose. Noah took a question regarding how much pride he and his team feel being able to win without Rose while so many pundits count them out, and he went off on an emotional defense of his close friend. "Derrick's a brother," Noah said. "And to see him go through this is tough, but at the end of the day it's really funny how quick people are to judge. But people don't know what it's like to lead a team, especially after you tore your ACL. ... [Everybody] who hasn't been in that situation before should really shut up because I feel like it's just so unfair to him and to this team." (ESPN Chicago) Comment

A-Rod won't guarantee 2013 return

Alex Rodriguez has the optimistic lines down -- he has "unfinished business" and the end of his season was "embarrassing" -- but being eager and being ready are two different things. Perhaps because the surgery required inserting anchors into the joint and shaving the bone, along with a lengthy rehab process, the Yankee third baseman stopped short of guaranteeing a return this season after participating in baseball activities on Monday for the first time since the surgery in January. The Yankees had predicted that A-Rod would return to the field after the All-Star break, but asked if he is certain he'll be back, the 37-year-old Rodriguez said, "I really hope so. I really hope so. That's as specific as I'll get." (New York Daily News) Comment

Geno Smith denies diva claims

Geno Smith wanted to set the record straight -- or, at least, give his side of the story. Thin-skinned diva? Immature? Spoiled and aloof? Those descriptions, and more, were aimed at Smith for firing his agents, Erik Burkhardt and Jeff Nalley, last week after Smith slid to the second round of the NFL draft. Smith finally responded Monday. "I don't worry about what people say -- my skin is pretty thick," Smith told USA TODAY Sports. "I've never been in trouble." ... As for the open, five-man QB competition and his confidence about his chance to win the starting job? "What more can you ask for?" Smith said. "As of right now, my role as a rookie quarterback is to be a sponge." (USA TODAY Sports) Comment

Must-See Photo
Must-See Photo

LeBron James poses with his four MVP trophies. (Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

Must-See Video

Spurs' Manu Ginobili hits a three-pointer to secure a double OT victory for San Antonio in Game 1 of the Western Conference semis.

Game To Watch

The Knicks look to bounce back after dropping Game 1 of the conference semis at home to Indiana, 7:00 p.m. ET.

This Day in Sports
SI Vault: More Michael Jordan
  • 1989 -- Chicago's Michael Jordan nails an 18-footer over Cavaliers' defender Craig Ehlo for a 101-100 victory in the deciding game of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.
  • 1994 -- The Nuggets become the first No. 8 seed to upset a No. 1 seed since the first round of the NBA playoffs went to a best-of-5 format in 1984.
  • 1995 -- Indiana's Reggie Miller scores eight points over the final 16.4 seconds to lead the Pacers to a 107-105 come-from-behind win over the Knicks in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
  • 2006 -- With an 8-5 victory over the Rangers, Joe Torre joins Joe McCarthy (1,460), Casey Stengel (1,149) and Miller Huggins (1,067) as the only Yankee managers to win 1,000 games.
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