INDIANAPOLIS – Never has a piece of tape made so many headlines.
Then again, anything Derrick Rose does these days instantly has a spotlight on it.
So when the Bulls star revealed before Wednesday’s shootaround that the NBA is no longer allowing him to wear the kinesio tape on the back of his neck to help with the stiffness he had been feeling, well, it wasn’t exactly Superman having to fold up his cape, but it was still news.
“I think the NBA told me I got to stop,’’ Rose said. “So I probably won’t be able to wear it tonight [against the Pacers].’’
Asked if he was given a reason, Rose responded, “I don’t know. I don’t even want to get into that. I don’t know. I swear I don’t know.’’
What that meant for the 2011 MVP point guard was back to relying on treatment and stretching for the neck.
“But it’s been getting a lot better,’’ Rose said. “In the morning, it’s kind of tough because you’re sleeping in the pillows. But once I get out there hopefully it gets a little loose.’’
It would seem Rose would have bigger problems to worry about through the first three games, considering he’s shooting 29 percent, and has 17 turnovers to just 13 assists. Then add in that he’s taking on a Pacers team that is 4-0, tape should be an afterthought.
“It’s just me getting into a rhythm,’’ Rose said of his struggles. “I could care less about it [the bad stats]. I know that I’m going to get through it quick. It’s the beginning stage. Once I get my rhythm, it’s going to be here.’’
The defensive-minded Pacers aren’t the best team to try and find that rhythm, especially with 7-foot-2 Roy Hibbert roaming the middle, but the Bulls don’t seem to be flinching.
Rose attacked the rim and Hibbert in two preseason meetings, and plans to do the same.
“Attack,’’ Rose said. “Make him do his job. He’s going to have to beat my shot five or six times. It’s not going to stop me from going into the lane and trying to get fouled.’’
Joakim Noah, who has a mutual hate-hate relationship with Hibbert, had a slightly different approach.
“Just try to be aggressive,’’ Noah said. “Try to front his big [butt] as much as possible and make him run around.’’