UPDATE 4:11 pm: Expanding on his thoughts to our own Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel (via twitter), James said he probably will do the chalk toss.
“I probably will. That’s a ritual for myself.”
2: 21 pm: It’s LeBron James’ iconic signature — throwing the powdered rosin into the air by the scorer’s table before the game.
In Cleveland it was the image on the 10-story “We Are All Witnesses” billboard across from Quicken Loans Arena. But the rosin toss, like his talents, went with LeBron to Miami.
When the Heat come and James returns to Cleveland Thursday, will James do the rosin toss he has done on the road at every other stop? He doesn’t know, he told Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press (via twitter).
“I probably will … I don’t know. We’ll see. I may change.”
Dwyane Wade told Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel (via twitter) that James had better do it. Wade said if James doesn’t he might do it instead.
A thousand miles away, former Cavalier Shaquille O’Neal was talking about it to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal (via twitter).
“I’m anxious to see if he’s going to do the powder thing…. I’m anxious to see him do the powder s—. We have bets he won’t do it.”
That and how Clevelanders react to James are going to probably be more interesting than the game itself Thursday night.
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.
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.
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?
In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.
But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.
Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.
“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”