has been working on his left-handed floater this summer. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
• The Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson has an update on Derrick Rose as the 2011-12 MVP gets set for his return from ACL surgery:
Less than one month before training camp opens on one of the most anticipated seasons since the dynasty ended, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau made good on his vow to visit Derrick Rose's offseason base outside Los Angeles to witness Rose's workouts.
Thibodeau traveled west Wednesday to check in on Rose, who is sporting increased range on his jumper and a left-handed floater that he has worked on extensively this offseason.
• In another survey from the NBA's rookie transition program, Lang Whitaker of NBA.com asks players what their go-to dish would be if they were to compete on Iron Chef. Kudos to Boston's Kelly Olynyk for asking all the right questions. You best pay attention to that secret ingredient.
• Amir Johnson riding an elephant like it's no big deal.
• Nate Robinson, at all of 5-foot-9, pretty easily completes a drop-step dunk. (via EOB)
• Silence from an NBA front office can often be misread as confusion or inactivity. But in reality, there's very little reason for personnel types to reveal their interest in any coach, player (or even kind of player) or plan before that interest is fulfilled. In an interview with Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News, Sixers GM Sam Hinkie clarified the importance of protecting the team's private goals (via Zach Lowe):
Q: There has kind of been an air of secrecy surrounding this organization since you took over, and the fans have felt distanced. Why have you chosen this route?
A: I think our fans will find me to be plenty open when we get to know each other. Our coaching search took quite a while and that may have caused that. Every little edge you can get is important. There is some level of secrecy as teams try not to let on to what they're doing. If we were to have had Nerlens Noel come in and work out before the draft, that would have caused a stir being that we had the 11th pick, and the kind of things that happened on draft night (trading Jrue Holiday to New Orleans for Noel) possibly couldn't have been possible. So we chose not to let teams know who we are working out, and a lot of forward-thinking organizations do that with the comings and goings of potential players. We did a lot of trading in the second round and that was because people didn't know our interest in (Arsalan) Kazemi (eventually landed in the second round via trade).
• Jeremy Lin contributes to the illustrious tradition of NBA players posing with pandas.
• A salute to the fine gentlemen of The Basketball Jones, who are packing up their office at The Score. They're off to pursue the next iteration of their podcast and blog. Very much looking forward to whatever form it takes.
• Fourteen years ago, Udonis Haslem drew the attention of Faith Rein at the University of Florida by way of the pet pit bull he had smuggled in to live in his dorm room. Now the two are married, and their story is worth reading. (via Nicki Jhabvala)
• At Bullets Forever, Mike Prada considers the role of Trevor Ariza, who never has quite fit in with Washington.
• This video, featuring some fantastically frantic defense from Jonas Valanciunas, is perfectly executed (via Danny Chau):
• Matt Barnes expresses his displeasure
(with some potentially NSFW language) at having to go through rehab while his friends and teammates run the court.