Delonte West on locker room fight: nothing to see here, move along

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Delonte West addressed the media on a locker-room brawl with Von Wafer last week, saying it’s all good. Don’t know why you’re all worked up about it. It was no big deal that I just jumped a guy in the locker room.

Not sure I can swallow all of that, but are the quotes, via ESPN Boston.

“I’m competitive, he’s competitive, as long as it’s for the betterment of the team, there’s nothing wrong with healthy competition and pushing each other to get better. Things went a little far, but at the same time, we were able to move past that,” said West. “We’re professionals.”

“We’re competitive guys,” he said. “I read the reports and a lot of things were taken out of context, or facts were made up that were not true with how things played out. Guys get into scuffles, or whatever you want to call them. At the end of the day, we’re like brothers in here. We had a big laugh about it today with the help of [Shaquille O’Neal] and [Kevin Garnett]. At the end of the day, we’re trying to win. We’re competitive — fiery guys in here — but you gotta move on. We’re focused on the next game, the next challenge.”

Delonte was the instigator of the fight last Friday in the Celtics locker room, following a spirited 3-on-3. Reports later came out that this was spilled over from quotes in the paper about West that it was thought Wafer leaked. That part may or may not be true. What is true is that if West were let go or inactive Wafer would benefit most, and Wafer was not loved in past locker rooms.

He’s right this isn’t going to get out of hand — with a veteran led locker room including KG, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen Shaq and more, they are not going to let this fester and hurt the team. It will be — or was — dealt with.

It still feels like it is more than just a little on-the-court pushing spilled over, but it seems very done with now.

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?