- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 26, 2009

Derrick Rose tutored the top teens in China on a basketball teaching tour with Dwight Howard. He shot a video game commercial with Kobe Bryant, too, so there really were some fun moments during the offseason no matter how bad it looked at times.

That photo of him flashing gang signs wasn’t one of his finest moments. That scandal at Memphis was another blow to his reputation, even if he insisted several times he did nothing wrong.

On the eve of the Chicago Bulls’ training camp, Rose did it again. The star point guard reiterated that he took the SAT exam to get into Memphis and dismissed the idea that someone did so in his place.

“I took it,” Rose said Friday. “I took it.”

The NBA’s rookie of the year last season, Rose found himself at the center of a scandal over the summer when the NCAA ruled Memphis must vacate its 38 wins and national championship game appearance during the 2007-08 season for using an ineligible player. The school is appealing the ruling.

The NCAA said an unknown person took the SAT for a player - with his knowledge - and that the player used it to get admitted. The governing body said the athlete played for the Tigers only during the 2007-08 season and the 2008 NCAA tournament. Rose is the only person who fits that description, but he insisted no one took the test for him.

“That’s for sure,” he said.

NETS: Owner Bruce Ratner said the sale of the NBA team to Russian businessman Mikhail Prokhorov is the final piece to building an $800 million arena and moving the Nets to Brooklyn.

Ratner said the joint Russian-American venture still requires that he sell almost $600 million in tax-exempt bonds by Dec. 31, but he sees no problem in getting that done.

The Nets owner said he does not believe a pending legal challenge to the state’s use of eminent domain to assemble land for the arena will succeed. Ratner said ground will be broken on the new Barclay’s Center by the end of the year.

KNICKS: New York re-signed David Lee and Nate Robinson, two of its only moves in a quiet offseason.

The plan remains to make their noise next summer.

Though they wanted to keep two of their most popular and productive players, the Knicks refused to part with their precious salary cap space for 2010, so Lee and Robinson are back on one-year deals.

New York didn’t do much else to upgrade its talent, so it will open training camp next week with much the same roster that went 32-50. Knicks president Donnie Walsh largely sat out the second half of the summer and kept hopes alive of making a big score when LeBron James could lead a star-studded free agent class.

TIMBERWOLVES: Minnesota gave veteran guard Antonio Daniels permission to seek a trade. If Daniels and his agent cannot work out a deal, the Timberwolves will buy him out.

Daniels is in the final year of his deal that will pay him $6.6 million this season. He was acquired from New Orleans in a trade for Darius Songaila earlier this month that gives the Wolves more salary cap flexibility for 2010.

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