Ben Wallace “50/50” on returning to Pistons or retiring

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The Pistons are going young and they are hoping that just drafted Andre Drummond can live up to the hype and be at the heart of that movement.

But should the Pistons bring back Ben Wallace for an 18th season as a mentor? Does Wallace want to do that, or does he want to retire and just drive around in his batman car.

Both sides are weighing their options. Wallace is on the fence and is at the annual Summer League he hosts in Virginia. There he spoke with local television station WTVR and the Detroit Free Press had this from the interview.

Speaking with Richmond, Va., TV station WTVR, he said he is “50-50” about returning to the Pistons. According to the report, Wallace was preparing to participate in a summer league he sponsors, and he indicated his performance would help him decide.

“I’ll be out here,” Wallace said. “How much of a player (he still is) remains to be seen.”

Wallace’s production has fallen off the last couple years in Detroit. He played 15 minutes a game for them last season and averaged 1.4 points and 4.3 rebounds a game with a PER of 10.7. His defense has slipped, too. What minutes he did get last season will go to Drummond and second-round pick Khris Middleton.

So do the Pistons want to pay Wallace to come back and be Crash Davis for a season, or do they just go young and let them learn lessons the hard way? Does Wallace want to come back?

We will find out soon enough.

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?