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Magic's Howard isn’t dancing around topic of Rose  


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The facts: 7, Ch. 9, 1000-AM.

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

Bulls guard Derrick Rose and Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard have been friends since they went on a tour of China together in 2009. They got to spend some time together last summer filming those ‘‘Fast Don’t Lie’’ commercials for Adidas.

‘‘It was a lot of fun,’’ Howard said. ‘‘It kind of opened [Rose] up a little bit. Everybody knows Derrick is not one of those guys who’s outgoing and gonna talk a lot. He kind of opened up a little bit. He had fun.’’

Someone asked Howard if there was a version of his commercial with Rose sitting at a piano singing instead of Howard.

‘‘No,’’ Howard said. ‘‘I don’t think people would have wanted to see that.’’

On Thursday, Rose was announced as a starter for the Eastern Conference in the All-Star Game, along with Howard, Amar’e Stoudemire of the New York Knicks and LeBron James and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat.

‘‘I’m just excited for him,’’ Howard said. ‘‘A lot of the work he’s putting in is paying off. I can remember us being in China, and after we did our appearance, he would go to the gym and work out and get shots up.’’

Howard said the biggest challenge will be getting Rose to dance during the pregame introductions, which has become a tradition of sorts in recent years.

‘‘I’m not doing that,’’ Rose said. ‘‘I’m not dancing. I’m gonna look silly, and they show that video forever.’’

Does Rose dance?

‘‘I dance, but everybody’s gonna be watching, Twittering and Facebooking,’’ he said. ‘‘I don’t like watching people embarrass themselves, and I’m not gonna embarrass myself.’’

Danger zone

Howard had a message for his friend before the Bulls-Magic game.

‘‘Never come down the lane when I’m here,’’ Howard said. ‘‘No, just stop jumping off one foot. Watching his games, I think he’s learned when to come down the lane and when to pull up for the jump shot. He’s become more of a complete player.’’

Last season, Rose sprained a wrist when he was fouled hard by Howard and crashed to the floor.

‘‘That’s basketball,’’ Rose said. ‘‘When you run into someone huge like him, you’re gonna bounce off and hurt yourself.’’

Kurt feelings

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy isn’t surprised the Bulls have had success with Kurt Thomas filling in for Joakim Noah at center.

‘‘I think Kurt’s helped them a lot,’’ Van Gundy said. ‘‘Four of our coaches have coached Kurt in the past, me being one of them. We’re not surprised.

‘‘Noah does some things better than Kurt; Kurt does some things better than Noah. Kurt’s a great interior defender, whereas Joakim struggles a bit with bigger, stronger guys inside. Kurt’s very good in those situations. Kurt’s very good in the pick-and-pop shooting the ball, and he really knows how to play and move the ball. You’re not losing a lot when you’ve got to play Kurt Thomas.’’

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