Associated Press

Adam Silver: If players don’t stand for anthem “we’ll deal with it when it happens”

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With the first NBA preseason games coming up this weekend, players are discussing what they will do during the national anthem. It’s a discussion that is quietly involving the NBA players’ union and the league itself. Last year, NBA players locked arms during the anthem in a sign of unity. However, in the wake of the latest incidents with President Donald Trump — him pulling his invite to the Warriors to visit the White House, and NBA players responding with venom — locking arms does not seem like a strong enough message to many NBA players.

Unlike the NFL, the NBA has a rule players have to stand — “in a dignified manner” along the foul lines — during the national anthem. But Adam Silver was asked Thursday what if they don’t (via Ian Begley of ESPN).

“It’s disheartening to me to see so much disunity in our society. I think that sports historically, and in the NBA in particular, has been a unifying force. While there’s always been disagreements in society, sports arenas have been places where people from all walks of life have come together and for a common experience….

“On the anthem specifically, we have a rule that requires our players to stand for the anthem. It’s been a rule as long as I’ve been involved with the league, and my expectation is that our players will continue to stand for the anthem.

“Again, to me, it’s a unique issue in this league because 25 percent of our players are not American. But it’s always been an opportunity in our arenas for both teams to come together and have a moment of reflection. Clearly, for the non-American players, it’s not necessarily a moment of patriotism for the United States, but it’s about respect. It’s about respect for the country they play in. It’s about respect for the principles that underlie this country. It doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone agrees at any given point with what’s happening in their country.

“Again, as I said, it’s my hope that our players will continue to use that as a moment of unity. For example, last year many of our teams locked arms during the anthem, which I felt was a respectful show of unity…. But let me say these are highly complex and nuanced issues. One of the core principles of this country is freedom of expression as well.”

Silver was then asked what if a player does not stand for the anthem.

“All I can say is if that were to happen, we’ll deal with it when it happens.”

Silver is dodging that question a little, because he knows things are still being worked out. Like the good lawyer he is, he was vague to keep options open.

What you will not see at the NBA games, at least certainly not near the same levels, is the booing that took place at some NFL games last weekend. If you drew a Venn Diagram of NBA fans and hardcore Trump supporters, there isn’t much overlap — NBA fans trend younger, more urban, and more multicultural than NFL fans. Most NBA fans would look at guys kneeling during the anthem and nod, not boo. The fan base will not react in the same way, generally.

What exactly NBA fans will see starting this weekend remains to be seen.

Grizzlies sign second-round pick Jevon Carter to multiyear contract

Associated Press
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies have signed second-round pick Jevon Carter to a multiyear deal.

Terms of the contract announced Sunday were not disclosed, but Carter himself confirmed the deal.

Carter has impressed at NBA Summer League in Las Vegas and in Utah. His dogged, aggressive defense has slowed players — Trae Young had some of his worst games against Carter — and on offense his game has improved, including him dropping 26 points on the Jazz recently.

Carter was taken with the No. 32 pick after winning the Naismith defensive player of the year last season at West Virginia. The point guard was second in the nation with 3.03 steals per game and is the Mountaineers’ career leader in that category.

“Ray Allen from long distance” with chip shot to save par at American Century Classic

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“Ray Allen from long distance, how many times have we said that?”

Ray Allen had a good weekend at the American Century Championships, the former NBA sharpshooter and future Hall of Famer finished third in the celebrity golf event. One of the reasons he was there, this chip shot on 13 Sunday.

Former Cowboy’s quarterback Tony Romo won the event, with former MLB pitcher Mark Mulder was second.

LeBron James sits courtside for Lakers’ Summer League win

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There are two, maybe three guys playing for the Lakers in Summer League likely to be sharing a locker room with LeBron James next season — Isaac Bonga and Josh Hart, with maybe Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and/or Alex Caruso. Only Hart could see the court much.

LeBron was still courtside on Sunday for a quarterfinal game at Summer League, showing his support and being a good teammate. He gave Hart a hug on the court. Brandon Ingram stopped by and talked with LeBron for a bit.

LeBron watched the Lakers continue their strong run through the Summer League, racking up a 101-78 win. LeBron was into it, when Mykhailiuk took a shot midway through the first quarter LeBron yelled, ‘cash only!”  The shot was nothing but net.

The Lakers are on to the Summer League semifinals. Los Angeles won the Vegas Summer League last year.

 

After losing to his father in golf, Stephen Curry leaps into Lake Tahoe

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Golf fanatic Stephen Curry was clearly enjoying himself on the links at the American Century Championship celebrity golf event in Lake Tahoe this past weekend.

But he couldn’t beat his father, Dell.

The price? Curry (and his caddy) had to jump in the lake. Check out the video above.

For the record, Tony Romo won the event.