Central Notes: Rose, Love, Robinson, Holiday

Enjoying a fresh start in Cleveland, Derrick Rose admits to being in “a dark place” last season with the Knicks, relays Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Rose missed part of training camp because of a civil suit involving sexual battery allegations, then had a much-publicized disappearance in January when he missed a game without permission. His season ended early as New York shut him down in April with a torn meniscus in his left knee that required surgery. “By a dark place, I mean, I was playing, like, revenge basketball, and that wasn’t my way of playing basketball,” Rose explained.

Rose didn’t get the free agent offers he anticipated and wound up signing a one-year minimum-salary deal with Cleveland. It’s a big step down for a former Most Valuable Player, but Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue sees it as a sign of character. “A guy who has been MVP, who started his whole career and to come here for the minimum knowing and thinking that Kyrie [Irving] is going to be here with him being the backup, it just shows he wants to win,” Lue said. “And that’s who he is as a person. You can see it every single day. He wants to be a winner. He wants to win. He works that way. So it’s just great to have him here.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • The pickup of Jae Crowder in the Irving trade may prompt Lue to use a smaller starting lineup, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. Heading into camp, Lue said he intended to keep Tristan Thompson as his starting center. But Crowder’s ability to stretch the court as a power forward may make entice Lue to use Kevin Love in the middle and make Thompson a reserve. “We did a lot of that last training camp, but as far as how the sets are put together right now throughout training camp I am seeing a pretty significant amount of time there,” Love said. “Depends on — now with so many guys on the team and so many lineups that we can throw out there it will probably change.”
  • Glenn Robinson III will miss two months with a severely sprained ankle, but the Pacers forward is relieved it wasn’t worse, according to Jim Ayello of The Indianapolis Star. Robinson and his teammates were concerned that he might have ended his season when he fell hard at practice Friday. “I’m young,” said Robinson, who was in a walking boot today at practice. “Hopefully I can heal a little faster.”
  • The Bulls appear headed for a high lottery pick, but that’s not how they’re approaching camp, relays Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. “Regardless of what people might think or say, we’re here to win,’’ said Justin Holiday, who came back to Chicago this summer after spending one season in New York. “We’re not on this NBA team just to be here, just to hang out. We’re here to win games.”
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