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NBA, news: Ben Simmons rookie extension, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers

Ben Simmons speculation is always the worst kind of speculation.
Ben Simmons speculation is always the worst kind of speculation.Source: AP

It was always bound to come up eventually.

The ‘Ben Simmons could turn down his rookie extension’ talk has begun, although the timing seems strange.

The conversation has sprung up thanks to a Deadspin article that dredged up an Instagram post from the end of last year to prove a point. That is, to prove that Simmons, a Klutch Sports client, wants a move to Los Angeles, and would potentially be willing to reject a rookie max extension this offseason in order to make it happen.

The article argued Simmons’ relationship with LeBron James (also a Klutch Sports client) and their shared agent Rich Paul, could see the Aussie do something we’ve never seen before.

Thursday February 28thBrought to you by beteasy

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Will Bryce Cotton light up Perth Arena in the way we know he can, or can Lamar Patterson lead his team to a stunning win away from home?

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Game 1 tips off at 10:20pm (AEDT), on Fox Sports 503.

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How to watch

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Every postseason game will be broadcast, live and in HD, on Fox Sports.

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Foxtel is your home for LIVE NBA, NBL & WNBL action. Get it all on Foxtel.

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LIVE UPDATES (if you can’t see the blog; click here!)

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Melbourne United played like a team that’s been there before. The Sydney Kings waited far too long to show any sense of urgency.

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The result: the home team kicking off their title defence in the best way possible.

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YOUR ULTIMATE NBL FINALS PREVIEW

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A dominant second quarter was the difference in Game 1 of this semi-finals series; United making most of their depth to jump out to a lead that was all but insurmountable. At the end, it was the reigning NBL Champions who held onto home court advantage, walking out of Melbourne Arena with a 95-73 victory.

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Casper Ware opened the game with three straight three-pointers, and would finish with a game-high 22 points; his team now just a game away from a return to the Grand Final.

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D.J. Kennedy had 20 points and seven rebounds points and seven rebounds, while Chris Goulding, though inefficient, provided an invaluable spark off the bench, finishing with 17 points, four rebounds, and three assists.

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Back-to-back three-pointers from United – one from Goulding, then another from Ware – proved to be the proverbial dagger for Andrew Gaze, who pulled his starters with three minutes left in the final period, preparing them for Sydney’s Game 2; a game that could be the NBL legend’s last as head coach of the Kings. Last week, Gaze announced he’d be leaving the Kings at the end of the postseason.

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Brad Newley led the way for the Kings with 17 points, while Andrew Bogut wasn’t able to make too much of an impact, with the league MVP posting just seven points, seven rebounds, and four turnovers.

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