Clippers players and Coach Doc Rivers were unanimous Saturday in offering their sympathy to Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, who tore the medial meniscus of his right knee and will require surgery.
Rose lives in Los Angeles and spent time here during his rehabilitation from a torn left anterior cruciate ligament. The Bulls, who announced the nature of Rose's injury Saturday, will face the Clippers at Staples Center on Sunday afternoon.
"To know D Rose personally, he loves playing. It's something he'll come back from, but it's unfortunate. I wish him the best."
Jamal Crawford was among many players who feared Rose had hurt his other ACL. He took the meniscus tear diagnosis as relatively good news.
"You never want to see anybody get hurt but I'd rather have him deal with that than with what everybody thought it could be," Crawford said. "My prayers are out to him."
Rivers said he had been looking forward to seeing Rose on Sunday.
"I can't be like a fan of opposing players, but if I was one he would be right at the top," Rivers said. "And it's not just his play — it's how he carries himself and how he plays and how single-minded he is about winning and being a pro."
Sacramento center DeMarcus Cousins apparently tried to discourage his teammates from shaking the hands of the Clippers' players and coaches after Saturday's game. However, Paul said he shook the hands of Coach Mike Malone and dynamic reserve Isaiah Thomas, and Crawford said he also shook Thomas' hand.
Clippers forward Jared Dudley didn't think much of Cousins' cold shoulder.
"Bad sportsmanship. He's better than that," Dudley said. "He's had problems throughout the NBA. You hope when he gets a little bit older the maturity factor.… They have some veterans and they have a new head coach and someone will talk to him. We're all trying to play within the guidelines of the rules. Sometimes it gets physical. Sometimes you do hard fouls. But it's all love and at the end of the day a win's a win, but we can't really worry about him too much."