Maurice Lucas, the five-time All-Star and a prototypical power forward in the NBA, has died at the age of 58.
Lucas succumbed to bladder cancer he had been battling for years. He had been an assistant coach with the Trail Blazers — the team Lucas is best remembered for playing for — when the cancer was found. Surgery and recovery forced him to leave Nate McMillan’s staff in 2009.
Lucas’s number 20 was retired by Portland and he is remembered as central to the franchise’s lone championship in 1977, the guy who played next to Bill Walton. He spent just three and a half years of his 14-year career with that team, having started in 1974 with the Spirit of St. Louis of the old ABA and eventually playing for the Knicks, Suns, Lakers and others before eventually spending one last season with the trail Blazers. To this day he is remembered as one of the greatest Blazers in history.
Our best wishes go out to his family and friends.
Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance
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
This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.
After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverleyin 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