Kyrie Irving fractured his hand at NBA Summer League practice

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The NBA Summer League has had a lot of solid players doing a lot of solid things, but there hasn’t been a player able to create a buzz quite like Blake Griffin, John Wall or any of the other Summer League stars of yonder years. It looked like Kyrie Irving might be that player considering top pick Anthony Davis is absent, but that apparently (and unfortunately) will not be the case.

The Cleveland Cavaliers quick and crafty point guard suffered a hand fracture at practice on Saturday morning and, unfortunately, it didn’t even happen while he was making a basketball play. In fact, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Marc Spears, the injury happened when play on the court was stopped.

Cavs say Kyrie fractured hand by slapping the padding on gym wall at practice. Cavs say initial projection to return start of training camp. Irving sent to the hospital for hand X-rays after experiencing stronger pain on bus ride back from practice. Surgery likely late next week.

The buzz inside the Summer League gym indicates that Irving’s hand is currently in a cast — overly unfortunate considering the timing, even if he is expected to be back in time for the start of training camp.

If Spears’ report proves to be true (and there’s really no reason for it not to be), this will go down as one of the more lame-brained injuries in the history of basketball. It won’t have quite the impact that Amare Stoudemire punching a fire extinguisher during the playoffs did simply because of the timing, but this happened while practicing for an exhibition Summer League game in practice.

Yep, we’re talking about practice.

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?