Dude Perfect shatters longest shot record

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Here’s the latest from the Texas A&M-based trick shot group Dude Perfect, and boy is it impressive. Dude Perfect first gained mainstream attention for making a shot off the third deck of Kyle Field, which was, at the time, a record for the World’s Longest Basketball shot. 
That shot got the Dude Perfect crew on Sportcenter and got them some sponsored gigs, but their claim to the furthest shot record was challenged by another trick-shot crew, Legendary Shots, when the latter bunch made a shot from the top of the Vulcan monument in Birmingham, Alabama
Well, Dude Perfect has now erased any doubt about the longest shot record after making a shot from the top of the “cross tower,” which, according to KBTX.com, was 216 feet off the ground. (The basket was 150 feet away from the base of the tower.) By my count, the ball was in the air for about five seconds before going through the hoop. Impressive stuff.
One thing I might like to see is a bit more transparency from the Dude Perfect crew — the fact that the shot was made at night suggests they were out there for many hours before finally making the shot, and I might prefer seeing the work that goes into doing something like this more than being asked to buy the illusion that he hit this on the first try — it’s still really, really, really impressive. Keep up the great work, boredom warriors. 

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?