Derrick Rose told everyone he made one little adjustment and to watch and see tomorrow. Well, he didn't really shoot a whole lot better, but we did get a glimpse of classic Derrick Rose anyway.
Here's a clip of all of Derrick's made baskets and most of his assists:
Derrick did most of his scoring at the rim, but he did have that one sweet cross over dribble deep mid range jumper that he nailed. Was that just his second jump shot hit this tournament? It might be. He's still 1-13 from beyond the three point line, and off the top of my head, I can't think of any other mid range shots.
Still, that jumper looked like classic Derrick Rose and was a nice sign to see. Derrick looked much more in control finishing at the rim, and while the rumor was he wasn't going to elevate as high on his jump shots, it looks like he also took a little bit of elevation off his attacks to the hoop, maybe focusing more on body control than get leaping over everyone.
His assists were generally not difficult plays, the alley oop to Thompson was nice and a big improvement on the last alley oop he threw to DeRozan a couple games back where he fumbled the ball and had the pass off target. His other assists were just swing passes, and a dump off pass to DeMarcus Cousins after he made a great steal to start a two on none breakaway where he could have dunked it himself if he wanted to, but left it for the big man.
Of his missed shots, two were threes, one was the missed shot seen early in the video that he scored the putback on, and the other was an ill advised drive into maybe three players where he tried an aggressive spin move into a jumping one hander about five feet from the rim that missed but could have been called a foul and wasn't. He also had a turnover on a drive to the basket, and several drives that led to kick outs that missed.
It looked like overall Derrick took the advice of coach K and started playing like the old Derrick Rose instead of just getting guys touches. He probably made about 12-13 drives to the basket in his minutes which shows plenty of aggressiveness for a guy only playing 18 minutes.
So this was great to see from Derrick. This is what I've expected the entire time against the caliber of teams that Team USA has played to date. I don't expect it to be so easy against Spain and perhaps not Lithuania, but against teams like Mexico, Finland, Ukraine, Dominican Republic, Slovenia, etc, Rose should have been doing this the whole time.
These are all teams without any interior shot blocking and guards who shouldn't have a hope of staying in front of him. In terms of proving himself ready for the NBA season Rose still has a long ways to go. His drives were still coming in transition rather than the half court, we've still seen him hit a total of two? three? jumpshots in the tournament as well.
However, Derrick showed when he chooses to he can still dominate the lower level of competition which is a big step up from where we were at after the first six games and the exhibition contests.
The next two games will represent more exciting tests as Lithuana and Spain (assuming US/Spain win as expected) both have legit NBA big men on their rosters.
He has a little African in him
The full quote is even more damning:
he has a little African in him. Not in a bad way, but he's like a guy who would have a nice store out front but sell you counterfeit stuff out of the back.
However, I don't think it's as bad as it sounds. First, it's worth noting the following things:
1: He's not making a racial stereo type. African is not a racist. The context is clearly African and not black.
2: There are stereotypes for African players (often guys who haven't played a lot of basketball, require a lot of development, are there because of size/athleticism, frequently high risk, high reward, Deng doesn't really fit any of these, but it's worth noting.
3: If we said Mirotic has a little European in him, no one would be offended, and we'd know what it mean (he's a soft, white, shooter)
4: If we talked about any white player and stereotyped him as being white, we'd know exactly what that means, if he's a guard, he shoots well, has high basketball iq, no athelticism, but hustles, if he's a big man he has no skill or athleticism, but eats up minutes and can foul six times.
I don't think there's anything racially motivated behind the quote, and my guess is that the second half of the quote is not connected to the first half in terms of African's being con men, but two different ways to describe how Deng's game won't live up to its potential.
The comment about the store, IMO, means Deng looks like he's got a good game, good points, good rebounds, good character, good defense, but his game is fake. He can't create his own shot, he can't shoot threes, post up, bring efficient offense, and he doesn't move the meter.
Whatever was trying to be said there wasn't said clearly or cleanly, and who knows what is meant. However, it seems extraordinarily unlikely that the second quote was meant to imply Deng was dishonest, and I think the African quote was more based on how many African prospects end up being frauds on the basketball court.
That said, I could be wrong. It could be something that was meant offensively. However the context noted above makes far more sense, and so it's the one I would assume is correct.
My guess is that it's quite common for scouts to use terms like European, African, or whatever to lump together a bunch of stereotypical traits of people form those regions, but it's probably not a great practice. Throwing around negative stereotypes of people is never a good idea.
I read further and there's more information apparently:
"Ferry completed the racial slur by describing the player (and impliedly, all persons of African decent) as a two-faced liar and cheat."
This is inexcusable. It's also bizarre. Deng has a reputation of being one of the highest character guys in the NBA. He's definitely one of the nicest players I've met personally. I don't get that one at all. So in this sense, throw away the rest of my analysis.
The only caveat I'd add is that the quoted text isn't actually quoted from Ferry while everything else is. I find that odd, since the call was recorded. Why leave out the worst part in the actual quotes? It makes me wonder if the quoted text here is actually someone's interpretation of the exact quotes that we know Ferry said.
Either way, given what's reported, it appears this is entirely inexcusable.
Deng gave a classy response, and no one should be surprised by that:
"HE HAS A LITTLE AFRICAN IN HIM "
"These words were recently used to describe me. It would ordinarily make any African parent proud to hear their child recognized for their heritage.
"I'm proud to say I actually have a lot of African in me, not just 'a little.' For my entire life, my identity has been a source of pride and strength. Among my family and friends, in my country of South Sudan and across the broader continent of Africa, I can think of no greater privilege than to do what I love for a living while also representing my heritage on the highest stage. Unfortunately, the comment about my heritage was not made with the same respect and appreciation.
"Concerning my free agency, the focus should purely have been on my professionalism and my ability as an athlete. Every person should have the right to be treated with respect and evaluated as an individual, rather than be reduced to a stereotype. I am saddened and disappointed that this way of thinking still exists today. I am even more disturbed that it was shared so freely in a business setting.
"However, there is comfort in knowing that there are people who aren't comfortable with it and have the courage to speak up. In the same way a generalization should not define a group of people, the attitude of a few should not define a whole organization or league.
"Ultimately, I’m thankful to be with an organization that appreciates me for who I am and has gone out of its way to make me feel welcome."
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