Dwight Howard not interested in responding to comments his father made about his situation with the Lakers

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In advance of the Lakers playing the Heat on Sunday, Dwight Howard was once again asked to respond to comments regarding his situation in Los Angeles, and whether or not all parties involved — including Howard, Kobe Bryant, and Mike D’Antoni — were going about things in the best way possible.

Earlier this week, it was Bryant’s comments about the team not having time for Howard’s shoulder to heal properly that Howard was forced to deal with. On Saturday, it was comments from his own father that reporters wanted Howard to respond to.

From Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles:

“I’m not going to get into it,” Howard said after practice in Miami on Saturday when asked about the recent comments of his father, Dwight Howard Sr., dissecting the relationship triangle between the Lakers’ center, coach Mike D’Antoni and guard Kobe Bryant.

“My dad is a grown man. If that’s how he feels, then we’ll leave it at that. I’m not going to get into it.”

Howard’s father told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he felt it wasn’t Bryant’s place to discuss Howard’s injury, and that D’Antoni should have stepped in and regulated his players so that it would be a non-issue behind closed doors.

Bryant and D’Antoni were each equally dismissive of the situation, and both essentially refused to discuss it in any detail when the questions were lobbed in their respective directions.

And honestly, that’s exactly as it should be.

The Lakers need to stop feeding into the media nonsense and start focusing on basketball. It’s not easy to do playing with multiple superstars in the second largest media market, but in order for the team to turn things around and salvage this nightmare of a season with a playoff berth, that’s what needs to happen.

The responses on this non-issue from Howard, Bryant, and D’Antoni would lead us to believe that the team is finally getting that message.

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?