Durant sued over “Durantula” nickname by ‘80s guitarist

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Can you “own” a nickname?

Actually, yes you can. Jeremy Lin just won a battle to own the rights to “Linsanity.”

That brings us to Kevin Durant, who has been called “Durantula” by fans since he was still wearing a green Sonics uniform. But now he is being sued for it, according to TMZ (hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie):

Durant was sued today in Federal Court by a guy named Mark Durante — a guitarist who, according to the lawsuit, was a big deal in the 80s … playing with Public Enemy, The Aliens, The Next Big Thing, and (our favorite) The Revolting Cocks.

TMZ obtained a copy of the lawsuit, in which Durante says he adopted the name “Durantula” for his “on-stage and performance persona” — and has used it to market “music, recordings, apparel, t-shirts, guitars, and related merchandise…

In the suit though, Durante claims Nike has used the moniker to launch a shoe campaign — and KD himself signed “Durantula” on basketballs that are for sale through his website. The guitarist says he registered the “Durantula” trademark. He’s suing for damages and an injunction stopping KD from using the name.

So it’s a guy likely kicked out of some mediocre at best ‘80s bands vs. the lawyers from Nike. Sure, that sounds like a fair fight.

And before you jump all over me for calling Public Enemy mediocre this is not THAT Public Enemy. As BDL researched, this is a 1978 rock combo band, not Flavor Flav and the groundbreaking hip hop group. I’ve seen that Public Enemy in concert. The “durantula’s” Public Enemy, not so much.

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?

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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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.”