NBA notes: Singer Justine Skye takes a knee at finish of national anthem before Nets game
By Associated Press
Oct 20, 2017 | 9:55 PM
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.
Skye, who is black, is a recording artist from Brooklyn for Roc Nation. Rapper Jay-Z, the agency's founder, was a part-owner of the Nets when they moved to Brooklyn five years ago.
Players from both teams stood along the foul lines during her performance, as NBA players have continued to do. Unlike the NFL, where some players have followed Colin Kaepernick's lead and taken a knee during the anthem, the NBA has a rule requiring players to stand.
“We recognize that tonight's national anthem singer kneeled briefly at the end of her performance and we were not aware that she was going to do so,” a Nets spokeswoman said.
Skye isn't the first anthem singer to make a statement during a performance.
Last December in Philadelphia, Sevyn Streeter performed the anthem wearing a “We Matter” jersey before the 76ers' game against the Los Angeles Lakers. The R&B artist had been scheduled to sing earlier before the 76ers' home opener, but was scratched by the team two minutes before the performance because she was wearing a “We Matter” T-shirt.
Following backlash from players and other members of the organization, the 76ers apologized to Streeter two days later and invited her to sing at a future game.
Harris’ brother is killed in crash
Dallas Mavericks guard Devin Harris has been granted a leave of absence after his brother was killed in a car crash.
A Dallas police statement said 38-year-old Bruce Harris died Thursday afternoon from injuries suustained in a crash. Police say Harris and another man were in a disabled vehicle when a car driven by a 23-year-old man slammed into it from behind. The car with Bruce Harris inside was set on fire.
Devin Harris didn't practice on Thursday and wasn't with the team for the Mavericks' game against the Sacramento Kings on Friday.
“I was with him yesterday and just encouraged him,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “He can take as long as he needs.” Mavericks teammate J.J. Barea visited with Harris' family on Thursday. Barea and Harris have been teammates since 2006.
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid said he has not been cleared to play back-to-back games and does not expect to be in the lineup Saturday at Toronto. Embiid was in the starting lineup for the home opener Friday night against Boston. … Atlanta Hawks rookie swingman DeAndre' Bembry has a fracture in his right wrist. He will return to Atlanta following Friday night's game in Charlotte against the Hornets and meet with team physicians from Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center on Monday. It's unclear how long he will be out. The team said his status will then be updated Monday. …
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. … Former WNBA coach and player Jenny Boucek has joined the Sacramento Kings staff as an assistant player development coach. She coached the defunct Sacramento Monarchs from 2007-09 as well as the Storm for three seasons from 2015-17. Boucek joins San Antonio's Becky Hammon as active NBA assistant coaches.