Nets, Nuggets still not talking about Carmelo Anthony again

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When Mikhail Prokhorov pulled the Nets out of Carmelo Anthony chase, there were some around the NBA who said he was just acting and trying to come off as a bad ass at the negotiating table. He was trying to establish his presence and persona with a dramatic move.

My thought: If you made $15 billion (give or take) in this Russian economy, you are a bad ass.

That said, I still expected the two sides to get back together. Both get the best outcome out of working together and in the end that business sense usually trumps everything else.

So far, no go according to the New York Post. With 10 days to go the two sides are not talking.

Despite owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s deal derailment, many around the NBA consider the Nets very alive in the mix because of their boatload of assets. Though some within the Nets organization fully expect the Nuggets to call back to re-engage talks, the calls have not happened yet, multiple sources contend.

They’ll wait. They plowed through four-plus months of this stuff, what’s 10 more days?

Because these teams spent so long talking about a deal the parameters of it are basically already set up (‘Melo for Derrick Favors, Troy Murphy and a couple picks). The only difference is that before the Nuggets were trying to use the Nets as leverage, and trying to push them into taking on more bad contracts from Denver (or finding a team that would). Now if they do re-engage talks things could move quickly — except that the Nets would have negotiating leverage to get a deal they like. Because the Nuggets have seen their other options. And because the guy willing to walk away from the table is always the guy with the most negotiating leverage.

And Prokhorov knew that. Because he’s a bad ass.

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?