Dwyane Wade regrets 2002 surgery which he says led to knee problems throughout his NBA career

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Dwyane Wade is one of the NBA’s all-time greatest to ever play at the shooting guard position, and the knee issues he’s dealt with throughout his career makes that achievement all the more remarkable.

Wade powered through his problems to help the Heat win a second straight title last June, and even had his knee drained prior to Game 7 of the Finals in order to be able to contribute to his team’s championship effort.

It didn’t have to be this way for Wade, however, if you take into consideration his most recent comments. The surgery he had in 2002 while still in college that removed his meniscus negatively impacted the way his knee would perform over the life of his NBA career.

From Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com:

With hindsight, Dwyane Wade says surgery to remove the meniscus from his left knee 11 years ago while he was at Marquette led to the ongoing knee problems he’s had with the Miami Heat.

“My knee problems and the things I’ve dealt with started from that,” Wade said. “That was [11] years ago and technology was different and the way you approach things was different.

“At that moment, if everyone looked ahead and said, ‘Dwyane’s going to have a 20-year career, maybe we should do something different,’ maybe I wouldn’t have [knee issues]. At that time it was to get me back on the basketball court and do what is best.”

The question of Wade’s knee was raised thanks to the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook needing to undergo an additional procedure that is expected to sideline him for at least the first 4-6 weeks of the regular season.

Wade has achieved plenty in spite of his knee issues. But imagine how much better he could have been if the technology had been a bit more advanced at the time of his first surgery, or if back then those in the medical profession had taken into account his long-term plans to compete athletically at the highest levels possible.

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?