Like your 4-year-old, Kevin Durant will not eat his greens

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You hear a lot of NBA players talk about a transformation in their diet as they age in the league — they come in being able to eat just about anything and go out and perform. But about their mid- to late-20s, they start to realize they need to take better care of their bodies and their diet shifts to grilled chicken, vegetables and healthier fare. Sometimes the pendulum swings all the way to the Steve Nash diet.

Kevin Durant, he’s 23 and can eat whatever he wants still.

And he does. That’s what Thunder teammate and Durant’s friend Royal Ivey told SLAM (hat tip to The Basketball Jones).

SLAM: Tell me something about Kevin Durant that I wouldn’t know.

RI: He doesn’t like greens. He just started eating salad like a year ago. He loves chicken wings though, but yeah, he won’t eat greens, and he’ll tell you that he doesn’t like greens or salad. I don’t know how he got so tall, or how he stays so skinny without eating greens, but he doesn’t. I sit next to him on the plane and have never seen him eat greens.

I have this problem with my 4-year-old. My advice is for the people around Durant to go “sneaky chef” on him — you can puree vegetables, mix them into a marinara sauce and he will never know the difference. There are all kinds of ways to trick kids — or the best scorer playing basketball today — into eating what’s good for them without them even knowing.

By the way, you should read the entire Ivey Q&A, talking about him giving back to his neighborhood and what it’s like on the bench in the NBA.

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?

Hawks’ DeAndre’ Bembry out with fractured wrist

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In their season opener Wednesday, Atlanta second-year man DeAndre’ Bembry came off the bench and played 17:45, scored six points and was +13 on the night. It was a good start to his career.

But now he is going to miss some time with a fractured wrist.

Bembry underwent an MRI, which revealed a fracture in his right wrist, the Hawks announced Friday. He will return to Atlanta with the team (the Hawks lost to the Hornets Friday night) and will meet with team doctors at the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. His status will be updated after that.

“We just may play some other guys more, we may use some of the young guys,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer told the AP before Friday night’s game. “We’ll just figure it out tonight and as we move forward. I don’t think there’s anything guaranteed for anybody, it’s unfortunate for DeAndre’ and for us.”