David Stern says NBA not shortening its season again

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Some people really liked it.

Some casual basketball fans liked an NBA season that started on Christmas rather than Halloween and had more games — and more meaningful games — every night leading into the end of season playoff races. Television ratings were up (slightly but up).

It’s not happening again. Because it’s about money.

David Stern was on ESPN’s Mike & Mike radio show and was more diplomatic in talking about it, while CNBC’s Darren Rovell was listening and tweeting.

David Stern tells @MikeAndMike that he has is skeptical of shortening the # of the games in a season. Might take reopening of the CBA.

But as we told you back in April, Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver was more blunt.

“If you cut the season shorter, we cut our revenues significantly as well. Players would make less, so no, and I think it’s not optimal to play a condensed season in this fashion.”

The regular season is when revenue is generated from ticket sales, and sponsors pay for those 41 home games to reach those ticket buyers. Television contracts local and national pay for a full season. The players salaries were pro-rated this year to 66-games. Nobody made as much money as normal but they wanted to make as much as they could following the lockout, hence the condensed schedule.

But it’s not happening again. The owners and players want to get paid, and that means a full 82 games. It’s about the money. It’s always about the money.

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?