Two games into FIBA World Cup pool play, Bulls star Derrick Rose is pain free, writes Joe Cowley of the Sun Times. Rose didn’t light up the scoreboard against Turkey on Sunday as he scored just two points, but he looked sharp as he scored 12 points in 22 minutes against Finland on Saturday. Here’s more from around the league..
- Finnish point guard Petteri Koponen, whose rights are owned by the Mavericks, hopes to be playing in the NBA by the 2015/16 season, writes Marc Stein of ESPN.com. “I always said my dream is to play in the NBA,” Koponen said. “Every summer we talk a little bit with Dallas to see what the situation is and what they think. I’ve got one more year left on my contract in Russia and then of course I would like to come over. I hope I get some options to go there and show I can play at that level.” Team sources tell Stein that the Mavs have not ruled out importing Koponen themselves in the future, but there was no talk of doing that this season with four point guards already on the roster. Of course, they could also deal his rights to another team.
- Even though he only played just one season for the Mavs, Tyson Chandler says his heart was always in Dallas, says Dwain Price of the Star-Telegram. “I enjoyed my entire time with the Mavericks and it was a sad process for me and my family leaving Dallas, especially after the amazing experience and amazing run that we had,’’ said Chandler, who was shipped back to Dallas this summer. “As I left I told those guys, ‘You know, I love you and I’ll love you forever and I love everything you have done for me and did for me.’ I understand the (NBA) business and I guess it wasn’t meant for me. But I guess it is meant for me to be back now.’’
- The Spurs kept the band together after winning the championship but not every defending champion has been so lucky. Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders looks at some of the worst defending champs in NBA history.
- According to Italian basketball exec Gianmaria Vacirca, Thanasis Antetokounmpo had an agreement to play with Pallacanestro Varese before deciding to stay in America to play for the Knicks D-League affiliate, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando writes.