Jerry West basically says Golden State not taking Drummond

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Connecticut center Andre Drummond is one of the great enigmas of this draft. To borrow the Bull Durham line, he’s got a million dollar body and a five-cent head. If he matures, his game matures and he brings real effort every night he could be the second best player in this draft. Or, he could just fade away.

Jerry West was being interviewed on a the CSN Bay Area’s Chronicle Live talk show about the Warriors plans for the draft — Matt Steinmetz of CSNBayArea.com was watching — and it sounds like the Warriors want nothing to do with Drummond, or a few other projects in this draft.

“We don’t want a player you’re going to have to wait on for two years,” West said on Chronicle Live. “We want someone who can play right away.”

That’s not Drummond. West wouldn’t say anything directly (he’s not saying much, he’s too smart for that) but seemed to back it up the no Drummond theory with this quote.

“Let me tell you something, the most difficult players to find are dirty-work players,” West said. “And I don’t mean that in the sense of beating people up. I mean that every single night you know they’re going to compete.

“One of the things, I think, this team really lacks is toughness. This year we’re going to get some toughness.”

Sounds like they want Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, but he’s not falling to No. 7. Maybe they can get Dion Waiters to fall to them, Harrison Barnes is a long shot but not impossible.

Or maybe they trade out. Or up, to get Kidd-Gilchrist. At this point nothing would surprise me.

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?