Paul George on saying he blacked out during Game 2: ‘I probably should have kept that to myself’

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Paul George took a knee to the head from Dwyane Wade during the fourth quarter of Indiana’s Game 2 loss to the Heat, and was later diagnosed as having sustained a concussion on the play.

But George believes that might not have been the case had he chosen his words more carefully.

Immediately following the play, both on the court and on the bench, George successfully answered all questions related to the league’s concussion protocol, but later admitted to reporters that he blacked out from the collision and tried to play through having blurred vision.

“Yeah, but I probably should have kept that to myself,” George said following Friday’s practice. “It just made a mess. That’s something that, going forward, just keep that between myself and the training staff.”

The only “mess” George could possibly be referring to is the fact that the concussion diagnosis became unavoidable following his remarks, which gets the league involved in determining whether or not he would be cleared to play in Game 3 on Saturday.

The media and the public obviously don’t need to know every detail of an injured athlete’s symptoms, but let’s hope George is smart enough to at least be 100 percent forthcoming with the team trainers — even though it might not be the easiest of decisions.

LeBron James said that every player at this stage of the postseason would try to play through a concussion, and David West admitted it’s difficult to be completely honest in terms of your symptoms if you want to continue to play.

The league and its individual teams can continue to work to educate the players about the dangers of trying to play with a concussion. But considering what we’re hearing from the players themselves, and given all that’s at stake, it’s worth wondering if it will really make a difference.

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?