Ginobili writes in Argentinian paper he doesn’t plan to retire

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Manu Ginobili is not the biggest sports star in Argentina — hello Messi — but he is up there near the top.

His fans in Argentina are wondering the same thing his fans in San Antonio (and there are a lot of them) are: How much longer is he going to be playing?

He wants to play at least another year he wrote for a paper in Argentina, as reported and translated by the San Antonio Express-News.

“After much thinking, going over and over the bad plays, I feel better and content in spite of the bad outcome, and I find it difficult to believe that I won’t play anymore,” he wrote in La Nación.

“I don’t feel exhausted or frustrated playing basketball, I mean not enough to say I’m done. I don’t know about everything; I haven’t made a decision, but I see it is unlikely that I will not play anymore.

“I try not to let the tree in front of me block the forest. This is practically an unbeatable situation in sports. A moment of anger and frustration should not cloud the day-to-day and how well I am doing over here.

“… I think they want me here again; but I’m not certain because I still can’t talk to the franchise” under NBA rules.

The Spurs likely do want Ginobili back and will talk to him on July 1, but at a healthy pay cut from the $14.1 million he made last year. Also his role may shrink as the Spurs try to transition more to younger legs like Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green.

While he’s a free agent, it’s hard to picture Ginobili anywhere else. His popularity in San Antonio will help with that.

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.”