Kobe says he is done, but Carmelo might be up for Rio 2016

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Kobe Bryant is telling anyone who asks, anyone who will listen really, that he is done with all things Olympics. There is no hesitation in comments to anyone. He’s got a second gold, he’s done.

Which makes sense, he’ll be 37 come the Rio games and may not be playing in the NBA any more.

Some guys we’ll expect to see back, if they are healthy, such as Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook and maybe Anthony Davis to name a few. The NBA’s young guard needs to take over for Brazil.

And maybe Carmelo Anthony. Marc Stein of ESPN was there when ‘Melo was asked about Rio in four years.

LeBron clearly unsure about Rio in 2016, but Melo sure sounds up for being USA’s first four-time hoops Olympian: “I’m young! I’m only 28”

Well, he feels great at 28 but we will see about 32. If he can go, it would be a good thing for Team USA both because he could be a veteran leader and also because ‘Melo’s game translates very well to international ball. Coach K uses him as a four who can step out and stretch the floor and works hard off the ball. He’s the kind of shooter who makes a great designated scorer on a team where pretty much everyone can score.

But four years is a basketball eternity. As is two years in Spain for the 2014 World Championships (the USA automatically qualifies with the gold medal win). We don’t know who the coach will be in 2016, we don’t know who will be healthy, we don’t know what young players will emerge and deserve a roster spot, we basically don’t know much about Rio (save that it should be a heck of a party).

But it sounds like ‘Melo wants a party invite.

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?