Report: Adam Morrison released in Serbia, seeks NBA return

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Adam Morrison is back. Hide the women and children barber shears.

Last week we passed along the report on how Adam Morrison was playing like his old self in Serbia — a feisty scoring machine. The guy we saw at Gonzaga.

Now from the same source — Sam Amick at Sports Illustrated — comes the report that Morrison has been released from his Serbian side so he can try and get back in the NBA.

According to a source close to Morrison — who had no opt-out clause and was being paid approximately $350,000 on a one-year deal that began in October — was let out as a “good faith” gesture. After averaging 15.5 points per game and showing some of the fiery style for which he was known in college, Morrison received significant interest from some Euroleague teams and is even confident he could return to the NBA.

Unless a Euroleague team gives Morrison an offer he simply can’t refuse, he plans on returning to the United States on Wednesday. Morrison indicated via e-mail that it would be his preference to play closer to his homeland, saying his preference was to play “hopefully somewhere in the Western Hemisphere.”

If I were a GM looking for a wing scorer off the bench I would consider giving Morrison a camp invite. No way I would do guaranteed money, but I’d be willing to give him a look. You’d be surprised how well his Lakers teammates spoke of Morrison and if he has matured and regained his confidence there are worse gambles out there.

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?