NBA OKs neck tape for Derrick Rose

INDIANAPOLIS -- After telling Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose that he can't wear Kinesio tape on his sore neck, the NBA reversed course later Wednesday and will allow its use on an "experimental basis."

"After a discussion today with Jerry Stackhouse, representing the union, we have decided to allow Kinesio tape on an experimental basis so that we can take a fresh look at the possible benefits it might bring to our players," NBA spokesman Tim Frank said in a statement on Wednesday.

Rose injured his neck during the team's regular-season opener against the Miami Heat on Oct. 29, and has been dealing with neck soreness since. He has been wearing the tape, which is visible on both sides of his neck, since Thursday's game against the New York Knicks to keep his neck loose.

"I think the NBA told me I got to stop," Rose said before Wednesday morning's shootaround. "So I probably won't be able to wear it tonight."

Rose didn't wear it against the the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night.

"You do what the league says," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "What they allow you to do is what you have to do, so [the league] cleared it and I guess they got approval from the medical people in the league office and so it's good."

"Anything that makes him more comfortable, I'm in favor of."

Rose said the injury has improved during the past week.

"It's been getting a lot better," he said. "In the morning, of course, it's kind of tough because you're sleeping in the pillows, but once I get out there, hopefully it gets a little loose."

Rose said the rest of his body is feeling fine. Wednesday night's game will mark just his fourth regular-season game in more than a year and a half since having reconstructive knee surgery.

"I've been fine," he said. "Other than my neck, I'm good. My leg's good. My arms, overall health is all right. I just got to get my neck loose."

The Bulls are hoping Rose can break out of his recent shooting funk against the Pacers. He is 15 for 52 from the field season and turned over the ball eight times in a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.

"It's been up and down," Thibodeau said of Rose's playmaking. "I think he's got to get used to his teammates again. As a whole, we have to find a rhythm. He just has to be patient, slow down a little bit, let things develop, and he'll be fine."

Rose isn't worried, either. He is convinced he will have a big game soon and never believed he would struggle this much after dominating in the preseason.

"Hell naw, I thought I was going to come in and pick right back up," Rose said. "But I know this is just the beginning stage, and trust me, I could care less about it. I'm not going to change the way that I play or just think about my shots. I know that I put too much work into my game, and I know it's going to come to me."