Silver on coaching diversity: 'We can do better'

9:27 PM ET

Tim BontempsESPN

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Wednesday that he doesn’t believe the league needs to institute a “Rooney Rule” to create more diversity in the league’s head-coaching ranks, but that the league has talked to all six teams with current head-coaching openings about ensuring they look at a variety of candidates.

“The answer is ultimately yes to, ‘Should the teams be able to hire who they want?’ I don’t see a way to operate a league where the league office, the commissioner, is dictating to a team who they should or shouldn’t hire or who they should or shouldn’t fire, frankly,” Silver said Wednesday night at his annual news conference ahead of Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers. “That’s the other side of the coin.

Hawks coach Pierce continues social justice work

5:30 PM ET

Associated Press

ATLANTA — Continuing his pledge to work toward social and racial justice, Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce and his wife Melissa will match up to $15,000 in donations to the Georgia Innocence Project.

The Pierces’ pledge applies to any donations made Friday in honor of Wrongful Conviction Day.

Pierce became one of the NBA’s most outspoken advocates in the midst of nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd while in police custody. He plans to keep up his off-the-court efforts even as he looks ahead to his third season as the Hawks coach.

“Someone needs to take the reins and speak up,” Pierce said on a conference call after the Hawks wrapped up a two-week minicamp.

“I know I have the ability to raise awareness. What I’m also trying to do is partner with groups and

Sources: Rivers agrees to deal to coach 76ers

5:46 PM ET

After a rapid courtship and negotiation, Doc Rivers has reached agreement on a deal to become the next coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, sources told ESPN on Thursday.

Rivers’ deal with the Sixers comes only three days after departing the LA Clippers. It also returns him to the Atlantic Division where he’ll be a principal rival of the Boston Celtics, where Rivers won an NBA title in 2009 as coach.

Sixers general manager Elton Brand on Monday reached out to Rivers and his agent, Lonnie Cooper, to gauge interest in the Sixers job. Rivers soon was on a flight to Philadelphia where meetings on Wednesday with Brand, owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer had the sides moving quickly toward negotiating a multi-year deal.

Rivers takes over a Sixers team that lost in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs and continues to

Irving, KD say Nets' coaching will be collaborative

4:37 PM ET

The Brooklyn Nets named Steve Nash their head coach in early September and stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant see Nash’s role more as a coaching collaboration, rather than top-down leadership.

“I don’t really see us having a head coach,” Irving said on Durant’s new podcast, “The Etcs.” “KD could be a head coach, I could be a head coach [some days].”

Durant followed up by agreeing with Irving, calling it a “collaborative effort” and naming assistant and former interim head coach Jacque Vaughn as someone that could fill the role any given day.

Nash, who was a shock hire, said when he was named coach of the Nets he was especially excited to work with Irving, calling the star point guard a “savant with the basketball.” Irving, though, said on the podcast he doesn’t know Nash that well, but is looking forward

Heat's Dragic, Adebayo doubtful for Game 2

2:29 PM ET

Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic and big man Bam Adebayo are both listed as doubtful for Game 2 of the NBA Finals, it was announced Thursday.

Dragic has a plantar fascia tear in his left foot, while an MRI for Adebayo revealed a neck strain following Wednesday’s 116-98 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1.

Heat All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler, who turned his left ankle at the end of the first half Wednesday night, was wearing a wrap on his left ankle Thursday. He said he will be ready for Game 2 of the best-of-7 series on Friday (9 p.m. ET, ABC).

“At this point, it’s all hands on deck,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Thursday. “And it’s not like the guys that were potentially sliding into the rotation haven’t played before; these guys have confidence and have played big roles

Feds: Two breached players' social accounts

3:38 PM ET

Associated Press

A Louisiana man and a Florida man allegedly gained access to professional athletes’ social media accounts and either sold the information or used it to extort payments, according to federal criminal complaints released Wednesday.

Trevontae Washington and Ronnie Magrehbi each face wire fraud conspiracy and computer fraud conspiracy counts filed by the U.S. attorney’s office in New Jersey.

Washington, 21, of Thibodaux, Louisiana, allegedly obtained usernames and passwords for multiple NFL and NBA players’ accounts and sold access to the information.

Magrehbi, 20, of Orlando, Florida, allegedly obtained an NFL player’s email and Instagram account information and extorted money by publishing explicit photos of the player and threatening to publish more.

Washington and Magrehbi were scheduled to make initial court appearances Wednesday in their respective states. They were not alleged to have worked together on the scams.

AD shines in Finals debut but 'job is not done'

2:30 AM ET

The Miami Heat started the game sending a double-team at Anthony Davis, but it didn’t take long to discover that there wasn’t much they could do to slow down the Los Angeles Lakers‘ superstar big man.

In his NBA Finals debut, an animated Davis dominated, scoring 34 points, grabbing 9 rebounds and blocking 3 shots to help the Lakers crush the Heat 116-98 on Wednesday and take Game 1 of the NBA Finals in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

“It’s easy for AD,” Lakers power forward Markieff Morris said when asked about Davis’ first Finals game. “Like I’ve been saying since I got on this team, honestly, if you ask me … we got LeBron [James], but I think he’s the best player in the world.

“He [does] it on both ends, he’s doing it consistently every night, he gives you what you ask for

Sources: Rivers serious candidate for 76ers job

12:29 PM ET

After productive meetings with Philadelphia 76ers ownership and management on Wednesday, Doc Rivers has emerged as a serious candidate to become the franchise’s next coach, sources tell ESPN.

Rivers’ candidacy has gained momentum, although no offer has been extended to him, sources said.

Rivers was a late entry into a process that had become increasingly focused on former Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, who still remains in consideration with the Sixers, sources tell ESPN.

Once the LA Clippers dismissed Rivers on Monday, the dynamic of the Sixers coaching search changed. Rivers has been intrigued enough with the roster, marketplace and organization to fly from the West Coast to sit down with Philadelphia’s hierarchy — owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer, and general manager Elton Brand.

Rivers, 58, had two years left on his Clippers contract, sources said, so he remains owed a significant

Ainge: Walker 'definitely not himself' in bubble

12:51 PM ET

Tim BontempsESPN

Boston Celtics president Danny Ainge said star point guard Kemba Walker was “definitely not himself” during the team’s stay inside the NBA’s bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort.

“I wasn’t there [in the bubble],” Ainge said Thursday during his end-of-season conference call following the Celtics’ loss to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. “I was watching from here, but I could see, even when he was here before the bubble started, which is why he was shut down a little bit and doing strength training and trying to prepare himself for the playoff run and the intensity of the playoff run, but he was definitely not himself.

“In fairness to Kemba, he doesn’t want to say that. He doesn’t say that to our coaches. He doesn’t say that to you, the media. He doesn’t

Chris Bosh watches Game 1 with LeBron, Heat on the mind

11:35 PM ET

It was early winter, pre-pandemic, with the NBA in full swing, and as Chris Bosh lounged courtside at the AmericanAirlines Arena enjoying the benefits of being a beloved retired Heat champion, he witnessed something that awakened an old, familiar pang.

“It was Bam Adebayo, bringing the ball up,” Bosh said. “I had to give Spo a hard time. When I played, he got upset with me when I did that. I called him on it. He just smiled and said, ‘Hey, man, we’re just trying to get better.'”

Nearly nine months later, Adebayo is an NBA sensation in a carefully constricted bubble, an absurdly athletic, rim-running big man with a crafty basketball IQ who can attack off the dribble, dish like a veteran point guard, set bone-crunching screens, suffocate elite perimeter shooters and reject offerings from future superstars into the seats. The Miami Heat