It’s official, Kobe Bryant out Friday. Not that it’s a surprise.

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Don’t expect him to play Sunday, either.

In a surprise to nobody after he sat out practice on Thursday due to soreness, Kobe Bryant is officially out Friday night when the Lakers take on the Golden State Warriors. Coach Mike D’Antoni said that at shootaround Friday, reports Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Stephen Curry also is questionable for this game as he has not yet cleared the league’s concussion protocols.

Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $20,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Friday night’s games. It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $3,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Friday. Here’s the link.

The Lakers next game is Sunday night at home against Sacramento. After that the Lakers head out on the road for three games.

It’s going to be interesting when Kobe does return — Mike D’Antoni has already talked about the need for the Lakers to find a new identity. The Lakers have played at the fourth fastest pace in the league so far, can they maintain that with a 35-year-old coming off an Achilles surgery handling the ball more? His return will help the Lakers offense once they find a groove, but that will take a few games most likely.

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?