Kevin Love turns down Besiktas

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Besiktas is looking to add to Deron Williams with another NBA star, preferably one who can play in the frontcourt. They’ve targeted a number of players including Luol Deng to join Deron Williams in front of tens of thousands thousands of people in Istanbul. But one major players says he’s out of consideration, Kevin Love:

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love informed Besiktas of Turkey on Sunday that he’s declining their offer to sign with the Istanbul-based club and team up with New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams.

“I didn’t feel it was the right decision for me at this time,” Love told ESPN.com.

Love, though, said playing abroad if the lockout drags on “is still very much an option” he’s considering.

via Kevin Love of Minnesota Timberwolves declines Besiktas’ offer – ESPN.

Love has been enjoying a big summer of having his face all over the place, and may not have wanted to go somewhere as limited from a marketing standpoint as Turkey. Not that Instanbul isn’t a major international city, but if Love’s going to go, he likely wants to get paid absolute top dollar for it, and considering the money already being paid Williams, their budget can’t be that considerable. It also seems like the team is kind of grabbing at random players instead of really formulating a plan, as there are other, bruisier bigs they could have aimed for. But Love’s three-point shooting might have been worth it.

Either way, we’ll have to wait to see where Kevin Love ends up, unless it’s just Minnesota and then we can all be happy because we have a season again.

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?