Why yes, somebody did interview Bango the deer

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If you’ve been reading this site or any other over the past several weeks, you are likely already familiar with the exploits of Bango the Deer. The Bucks mascot achieved YouTube stardom by doing a backflip dunk off a 16-foot ladder during Monday’s game four. Keep in mind that Bango has already torn an ACL in the line of mascot duty. 

This scripted Bango video surfaced around the same time the dunk video did. In it, Bango goes around the streets of Milwaukee and assaults anyone wearing an Al Horford jersey. It functions both as a Bucks fan video and a meditation on hunting. I’m not saying that Bango deserves all the credit for the Bucks’ three-game winning streak in their series against the Hawks. I’m simply implying that he deserves most of it. 
Don Walker of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel wisely recognized the people’s demand for Bango, and tracked him down for an exclusive interview recently. Naturally, the main topic of discussion was the backflip dunk. Here’s what he had to say about the stunt:
“The playoffs inspire everyone to step up their game, and I felt like this was the perfect opportunity to attempt one of the biggest, scariest stunts I’ve ever seen. Jerry Burrell (the Houston Rockets mascot, called Turbo) was the first person to complete the dunk but more recently the mascot for the OKC Thunder attempted it a few weeks ago but failed to make the dunk.”

When asked about how he practiced for the dunk, Bango had this to say:

“Practice? I would love to tell you that I put hours of practice in, but I had to keep this one quiet so that I wasn’t told not to do it. I did spend countless hours preparing mentally.”

Let’s all make sure we’re on the same page here. Bango didn’t even get to practice that dunk because he was afraid people, namely doctors, wouldn’t let him do it if they found out about it. I have run out of superlatives for this man-deer. 

Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance

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NEW YORK (AP)—  The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.

Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.

NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.

Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.

LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim

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Through the first couple games of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers — he dropped 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on the Cavaliers Friday night.

But the Cavaliers still have LeBron James.

He had 24 points and 8 assists, leading Cleveland to the win.

LeBron also reminded the Greek Freak just how good a rim protector he is. Few people can slow Antetokounmpo on the drive, but LeBron is one of them.

Is it too early to root for a Cavs vs. Bucks playoff series?