Carmelo Anthony kicked off his tour of potential free agent destinations Tuesday with a visit to Chicago. He got the usual treatment -- mock-ups of his image, a tour of the facilities, dinner with personnel -- and possibly one unusual treat. From Alex Kennedy:
While Rose had went on the record saying that he wasn't going recruit Anthony to Chicago, he was very involved in the team's courtship of the superstar free agent, according to sources close to the situation. While at the facility, sources say that Rose went through a private workout to show Anthony that he's healthy and ready to compete at a high level next season.
The report was disputed by K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, who suggested Rose came before Anthony for a normal rehabilitation workout. But if true, that's Derrick Rose -- one of the best basketball players on Earth -- doing basketball drills in front of Carmelo Anthony -- one of the best basketball players on Earth -- to prove that he's healthy enough to play basketball. Melo is one of very few people to enjoy this spectacle in months.
I like to imagine this wasn't planned and that it came up organically at dinner:
"We could have a contender next year with you and with Derrick healthy."
"Is Derrick healthy?"
"I'm just saying ... Derrick hasn't been fully healthy in a while. Is he healthy?"
"He's healthy. Aren't you, Derrick?"
"You don't believe me."
"No, I do, that's awesome."
"Come with me."
"What? Why? Where are we going?"
"TO THE B-BALL COURT."
[30 minutes of Derrick Rose doing pump fakes and spin moves on an otherwise empty court, shooting jumpers, pretending to take charges, and working up a heavy sweat while Melo thumbs his phone, looking up occasionally.]
"Okay, yeah. Can we go back to dinner now? I wasn't done."
Anyway, I guess it wouldn't hurt to prove your gameness in the most straightforward way possible (although challenging Melo to one-on-one would have been truly impressive). That's just a rare interaction between NBA players, let alone All-Star caliber ones.