Monday And-1 links: Free agency odds/ends edition

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Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points. Today, lots of free agency stuff.

• Michael Jordan’s son Marcus, who plays college ball for Central Florida, was arrested in Oklahoma City recently. And sounded like quite gentleman in doing so.

• Andrei Kirilenko and Nenad Krstic are not returning to CSKA Moscow, the team president confirmed. Both likely NBA bound. There have been rumors Kirilenko had a handshake deal with the Nets, but a few teams may be interested in both guys services.

• Look for the Pistons to be quiet through free agency.

• The buzz is the Warriors are the leading candidates to land J.J. Hickson, but other teams are trying to nose their way into the conversation.

• The Magic are trying to figure out how to keep J.J. Hickson.

• Minnesota is making a run at just about everyone.

• If you want to read Bulls GM Gar Forman and coach Tom Thibodeau dance around the Omer Asik question — whether they should match the Rockets three-year, $25 million offerhere you go.

• Amare Stoudemire is going to work out with Hakeem Olajuwon this summer, focusing on his post game.

• Pat Riley talks about the weight that the national hatred of the Miami Heat placed on the team.

• In case you missed it, the Bobcats have new uniforms for next season.

• Last week Senior Vice President of Referee Operations, Major General Ronald L. Johnson, stepped down. He was behind some of the tranparency measures in the last few years.

• The Dallas Mavericks will play a preseason game against Barcelona Regal  Oct. 9 at the Palau Sant Jordi as part of the Mavs preseason jaunt to Europe. Got to figure out how to get NBC to send me to that game.

Here is GQ’s Q&A with Anthony Davis.

• The lawsuit filed against the Lakers and others after a toddler fell from a luxury suite to his death inside Staples Center has been dismissed.

It’s not about the shoes: Kevin Durant loses his, blocks two shots anyway

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Shoes? Kevin Durant don’t need no stinkin’ shoes.

Early in the second quarter of the Warriors win in New Orleans Friday, Durant came out of his shoes on a layup in the lane. He then picked up his shoe, carried it to the other end, flipped it to the bench, and played defense without it, and while he got moved out of the way allowing an offensive rebound for the Pelicans he then proceeded to block Tony Allen twice at the rim.

Durant — after deciding to play the rest of the game in shoes — had seven blocks on the night, to go with 22 points.

Joel Embiid frustrated, wants more post touches, to play back-to-backs

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Joel Embiid remains a frustrated man.

He wants to be unleashed on the NBA, and he feels he’s being held back.

Part of that is not playing in back-to-backs — Embiid started Friday night against Boston but will sit out by plan Saturday night against the Raptors in Toronto. Embiid knows the plan to help protect a body that has played only 31 games in three seasons before this one and was not cleared for most of training camp, but that doesn’t mean he likes it, as he told Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

“I just want to feel like an NBA player,” Embiid said.  “I feel like I’m not an NBA player because I can’t play back-to-back.”

I get his frustration, but can you blame the Sixers for treating the guy like he’s made of glass at this point? Hopefully, later in the season, he can be cleared to play on both ends.

His second frustration came from the loss to the Celtics on Friday — he wants more post touches. In the video above he is clear, “I didn’t get the ball enough in the post.”

He’s right here. Embiid had three post-ups all game, one in each of the game’s first three quarters (stat via Synergy Sports). Embiid is efficient in the post — he has shot 9-of-12 on those plays overall this season and the Sixers score 1.33 points per possession when he does. That will work especially well against teams going small (for example, the Cavaliers with Kevin Love at the five), although Friday night Boston had big man Aron Baynes starting at center (in part because of Embiid, in part because Marcus Smart was out injured). Still, Embiid can score on Baynes.

Take a look at Embiid’s shot chart from Friday night.

Part of this is on him with all the threes, but they have to utilize him better. It’s part of the Sixers growing pains that will come this season.

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.