NBA announces deal to broadcast D-League games live on YouTube

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The NBA and YouTube announced a deal to stream live more than 350 D-League games during the 2012-13 season, both through a dedicated YouTube channel and through a video player on NBA.com.

From the official release:

“As a result of today’s announcement, the NBA D-League, the NBA’s official minor league, will feature the most live games on YouTube by a major professional sports league.”

“The NBA’s latest initiative with YouTube marks another milestone in our partnership and a great way to tip off the 12th season of the NBA Development League,” said NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver. “By turning to our longtime partner, YouTube, we are able to bring the NBA D-League to basketball fans around the world, further expanding the league’s growth and showcasing future NBA stars.”

“Throughout the season, NBA D-League fans won’t miss a moment of live regular season action as all of the league’s games will be available nationwide either online; on the NBA D-League Center Court mobile app – the league’s free mobile application providing fans with access to NBA D-League content on the Android Market and the App Store; or on CBS Sports Network and NBA TV, the league’s national television partners.

“In addition, fans will be able to access the live games on the NBA D-League YouTube channel via all of the league’s 16 team web sites.  They can also access archived versions of the live games to view on demand through the YouTube channel and the league’s web site shortly after the conclusion of the contests.”

The NBA Development League has had a hard time attracting hardcore fans of its own, for a variety of reasons. The teams are almost exclusively located in very small markets, the talent level of the players fluctuates wildly, players come and go to and from teams erratically throughout the season, and it wasn’t always easy to find out when and where to watch.

The league has taken a big step to eliminate that last issue, and more basketball available to watch for free online can only help to increase its fan base.

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?