Raymond Felton tired of Jeremy Lin comparisons

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The Knicks play the Rockets Friday night, and the matchup will mark the first time that Jeremy Lin will face his former team after making a name for himself in New York during the incredible but brief “Linsanity” run last season.

When the Knicks didn’t match Houston’s free agent offer to Lin, and ended up with Raymond Felton as a replacement, there were plenty of questions as to how the organization could possibly let that happen.

But now, 10 games into the season, and with the Knicks off to a better-than-expected 8-2 start, the regret over that decision has essentially disappeared.

Still, as the Knicks prepare to face Lin for the first time, the comparisons between his game and that of Felton’s continue. And Felton seems to be tiring of it.

From Nate Taylor of the New York Times:

Felton is 28, four years older than Lin, but more significantly has a greater body of work in the N.B.A. In his eighth season, he has played in 544 regular-season games to Lin’s 76, and he took note of that disparity when he was asked about Lin on Wednesday night.

“I don’t see how anybody can compare us,” he said. “I’ve been in this league much longer. He had a great run last year, one of the best I’ve ever seen. I’m glad he got his money. But to compare me and him is wrong.”

To drive home the point, Felton said he could “care less” about how Lin was playing in Houston. “I don’t even follow what he does,” he said.

Felton is flourishing in New York this season, while Lin has been struggling to make it work in Houston. He was benched down the stretch of the Rockets come-from-behind win over the Bulls on Wednesday, and is shooting just over 33 percent from the field on the season.

Linsanity appears to be a thing of the past, and that’s clearly where Felton would like it to stay. Of course, all it will take is for Lin to go off against the Knicks for the hype machine to get fired up to maximum levels once again.

LeBron James: ‘I still got Pandora with commercials’

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Dwyane Wade revealed last year that LeBron James refuses to use his phone internationally unless he’s on Wi-Fi.

LeBron’s friend and new Cavaliers teammate again brought up that claim, and LeBron confirmed – then went even further about his own cheapness.

LeBron in a joint interview with Wade on ESPN:

No. I’m not doing that. I’m not turning on data roaming. I’m not buying no apps. I still got Pandora with commercials.

LeBron – he’s just like us!

As funny as that line is, keep watching to see LeBron hilariously explain how his hairline affects his interviews.

PBT Extra: LeBron as MVP and other NBA postseason award predictions

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Last year, Russell Westbrook had a historic season on his way to the MVP award, with James Harden and Kawhi Leonard right on his heels. But heading into this season, the dynamic for MVP — and many of the NBA awards — feels very different and wide open.

In this latest PBT Extra, I lay out my preseason predictions for every award — LeBron James for MVP, Ben Simmons for Rookie of the Year, and on down the list. There are a few leaps and surprises in there (predicting Most Improved or Sixth Man before the season is a crap shoot, so why not gamble).

Now the predictions season is over, let’s get on to the games.

Jazz: Dante Exum undergoing surgery after shoulder injury

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Jazz point guard Dante Exum hurt his shoulder in a preseason game – an injury that immediately looked like it could be season-ending.

Though Utah doesn’t outright say Exum is done for the year, this doesn’t engender much hope.

Jazz release:

The following is a medical update on Utah Jazz guard Danté Exum who suffered a separated left shoulder on October 6 vs. Phoenix.

After further evaluation, Exum (6-6, 190, Australia) has elected to undergo surgery to stabilize the AC joint of his left shoulder. The surgery is scheduled to take place Tuesday, October 24 in Los Angeles. Further updates will be provided when appropriate.

Exum (obviously) didn’t receive a contract extension before today’s deadline, so he’ll become a free agent next summer. After one full missed season already and two years of limited effectiveness, it’s not even clear Utah will extend Exum a qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent. The former No. 5 pick almost certainly won’t meet the starter criteria, which means his qualifying offer would be worth $4,333,931 (down from $6,619,903 based on his draft slot).

The Jazz will start Ricky Rubio, and Raul Neto will be the primary point guard behind him. Wings Rodney Hood, Alec Burks, Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles can all share facilitating duties.

Utah will probably be just fine without Exum this season, which speaks to his marginal place long-term.

Sprained ankle has LeBron James questionable for opener vs. Celtics

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INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) — LeBron James‘ playing status for Tuesday’s season opener against Boston remains unclear.

James has been slowed by a sprained left ankle for more than two weeks and it’s still not known whether he’ll be on the floor when the Cavaliers take on the Celtics and Kyrie Irving, who asked to be traded by Cleveland this summer.

Following Monday’s practice, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said “I really don’t know” when asked if James will play.

James took part in some post-practice shooting drills with teammates. He did not speak with the media as the Cavaliers prepared for their opener, a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference finals.

James has never missed an opener in his NBA career, and teammate J.R. Smith doesn’t expect him to miss this one.

“Oh, he’s going to go,” Smith said. “He’s going to go, trust me that. I don’t care what he’s got to do, he’s going to play.”