Eric Gordon isn’t asking for a trade, it’s about the knee

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Nobody is sure what is going on with Eric Gordon’s knee. Not the doctors, they seem to say there is no structural damage (at least according to GM Del Demps). Not Eric Gordon, he says he had a setback but is vague and talking about more information coming in.

Certainly not the fans in New Orleans, who see a guy who got a max deal, asked the team not to keep him this summer and has a structurally sound knee but won’t take the court.

But Eric Gordon has never seemed the “I’m not going to play because I’m mad” kind of guy. He’s a competitor. And there are not many better spots to be than on an up-and-coming Hornets team right now.

We may not know what is going on exactly, but we can rule one thing out one thing — he’s not trying to get traded. From Ken Berger at CBSSports.com.

The only thing missing from the confusing saga over Eric Gordon’s mysterious knee injury is a good, old-fashioned trade request. And neither Gordon nor his agent has made one, a league source told CBSSports.com.

I still feel like I’m looking at a puzzle with some missing pieces. We’d all like answers, but they may be longer in coming than this weekend Berger notes.

The Hornets have consulted other medical opinions and are evaluating all the information they have on Gordon’s injury. And while Gordon said on more than one occasion Thursday that some decisions will be made by this weekend, it seems likely to take longer than that — weeks, rather than days. With so much invested in Gordon, the Hornets will err on the side of making the best decision for the long term.

About the only thing I’m sure of is when Gordon does return he’s got a locker room and a city to win over. And that’s going to take more than just some good play on the court.

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?