Tom Nissalke, first coach of Utah Jazz, dies at 87

4:04 PM ET

Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — Tom Nissalke, who won Coach of the Year honors in the NBA and ABA, has died. He was 87.

Nissalke passed away at his home in Salt Lake City on Thursday after facing a “series of health-related problems” in recent years, according to the Deseret News .

He was the first coach of the Utah Jazz after the franchise relocated from New Orleans in 1979. Nissalke was also an NBA head coach in Seattle, Houston and Cleveland.

Nissalke got his start in the pro ranks as an assistant with Milwaukee and helped guide a team featuring Hall of Famers Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to an NBA title in 1971. His work with the Bucks landed him a head coaching gig with the ABA’s Dallas Chaparrals. He led them to a 42-42 record in his first season and

NBA, Kings close Walton sexual assault case

2:45 PM ET

Investigators for the Sacramento Kings and the NBA determined that, based on available evidence, there was “not a sufficient basis to support” the sexual assault allegations made against Kings head coach Luke Walton.

According to a Friday statement from the Kings and the NBA, Kelli Tennant, who alleged that Walton sexually assaulted her in 2014, did not participate in their investigation.

Tennant, a former host on Spectrum SportsNet LA, the Lakers’ regional sports network, filed a civil lawsuit against Walton in April. During a news conference, Tennant said that Walton assaulted her in a Santa Monica, California, hotel room. Walton was an assistant with the Golden State Warriors at the time.

“Out of nowhere, he got on top of me and pinned me down to the bed and held my arms down with all of his weight while he kissed my neck and my face and

Cavs owner Gilbert back home following stroke

10:27 PM ET

Associated Press

CLEVELAND — Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has been home for nearly a week in Detroit as he continues to recover from a stroke suffered in May.

Gilbert, 57, had spent the past two months in a rehabilitation center in Chicago. On Thursday, Quicken Loans CEO Jay Farner provided a brief update on Gilbert.

“On Friday, Dan Gilbert returned to Detroit to continue his rehabilitation locally,” Farner said. “We are extremely thankful for all of the skilled medical professionals who have played a significant role in Dan’s recovery and are glad to have him back home.”

Gilbert, who founded Quicken Loans, suffered the stroke May 26 after he was taken to a hospital by a family friend. He was immediately taken into a surgery for a catheter-based procedure, which doctors have credited with being a key to his recovery.

He spent more than

Gilgeous-Alexander: Not filling Westbrook's shoes

6:35 PM ET

Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander wants to temper expectations. Maybe that is understandable.

He is preparing to step into the point guard position Russell Westbrook held for 11 years for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Gilgeous-Alexander averaged 10.8 points and 3.3 assists as a rookie for the Los Angeles Clippers last season. He joined the Thunder in the deal that sent All-Star Paul George to the Clippers.

He has a massive hole to help fill. Westbrook was the 2017 NBA MVP and two-time scoring champion, two-time All-Star MVP and two-time assist leader who averaged a triple-double the past three seasons with the Thunder before he was traded to the Houston Rockets this summer.

“I am not Russell Westbrook,” Gilgeous-Alexander said matter-of-factly Thursday. “We don’t have the same name, the same body type, nothing like that. So I’m going to try to be myself

Debating the NBA's most overrated and underrated teams

Aug 21, 2019

The 2019-20 NBA summer forecast debuted Wednesday with our experts’ predictions for the standings in each conference and records for all 30 teams.

Which teams are most underrated and overrated in the forecast? What were the most surprising results?

After an offseason full of player movement, the Milwaukee Bucks (57 wins) and Philadelphia 76ers (55 wins) led the way in these projections. Get the full projections here, with more picks coming over the course of the next week.

Five of our NBA experts break down the results.

1. What is your biggest takeaway from the results?

Chris Herring, FiveThirtyEight: That the outlook for each conference has seemingly reversed in the past few months. It had felt as if Golden State and Houston were the only two clubs that had a solid chance of reaching the NBA Finals for a while in the West, whereas the

NBA preseason predictions: Our experts' picks for 2019-20

8:36 AM ET

The 2019-20 edition of ESPN’s NBA summer forecast is here.

Which will be the best and worst teams this season? Which superstar players will win the major awards? What surprises are on the way?

We polled ESPN’s panel of basketball experts for their predictions heading into the season. Over the next week, we’ll roll out the results right here.

Next up: The most likely NBA title contenders, along with the biggest question and greatest advantage for each squad.

Plus, vote on tomorrow’s topic: Who will win Rookie of the Year?

Who will win the NBA title?

Heading into 2018-19, the Golden State Warriors received every first-place vote in this category. Now there’s more competition, with the LA Clippers leading the way as the most likely NBA champion.

1. LA Clippers: 117 points (54.5% first-place votes)

2. Milwaukee Bucks: 85 points (36.4% first-place votes)

3. Philadelphia 76ers:

Big questions, greatest edge for seven NBA title contenders

8:35 AM ET

Last season, the Golden State Warriors received every first-place vote available when we asked the ESPN NBA forecast panel for the most likely team to win the NBA title. This year, four teams received at least one first-place vote. This is going to be a different season than what we got used to under the Warriors’ dynasty.

The LA Clippers lead the way in the NBA champion voting results for 2019-20, but the Milwaukee Bucks aren’t far behind. (Voters were asked for their top three most likely title teams, and we calculated a weighted point total).

What is the greatest advantage for each of the seven teams that received votes this season? What’s the biggest lingering question?

Our NBA experts dive into the title chances for the Clippers, Bucks, Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz.

1. LA Clippers | 117 points

Walker lifts Team USA past Aussies in warm-up

Aug 22, 2019

Associated Press

MELBOURNE, Australia — Kemba Walker scored 23 points and Myles Turner added 15 to give Team USA a 102-86 win over Australia on Thursday in a World Cup warm-up game.

The attendance at Marvel Stadium, which normally hosts soccer, cricket and Australian rules football, was 51,218, billed as the largest crowd ever to watch a basketball game in Australia. The stadium was transformed into a makeshift basketball arena for two games against the Americans before the World Cup starts this month in China.

1 Related

After Australia briefly took the lead at 45-44 early in the second half, the Americans scored 13 unanswered points, including three straight 3-pointers by Turner, Harrison Barnes and Donovan Mitchell, to go up 57-45.

“The way we bounced back in the second half shows the character of this team,” Mitchell said. “We

The inside story of the moment that changed the NBA forever

Aug 20, 2019

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS president Rick Welts was in his old office up in Oakland when the call came in. Warriors general manager Bob Myers was checking in, as he often did, after the team’s shootaround in Los Angeles.

It was the morning of Game 5 of the Warriors‘ 2014 first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers. Four days earlier, TMZ had published voice recordings of then-Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racist statements to his mistress, V. Stiviano, throwing the NBA into a tailspin.

When Myers called his boss with a status report, he told him in no uncertain terms, “‘These guys are going to walk off the floor,'” Welts recalled.

“He was with the team that morning and said the vibe around the team — maybe both teams — was that if this doesn’t go the way the players want it to go that

Wizards hire Antwan Jamison as director of pro personnel

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Wizards are continuing their front office overhaul by hiring Antawn Jamison as director of pro personnel.

Jamison returns to Washington, where he played for six seasons as part of his 17-year NBA career. He spent the past two seasons as a scout for the Los Angeles Lakers. Jamison will work with Johnny Rogers on NBA and G League scouting.

Since taking over as general manager last month, Tommy Sheppard has hired Rogers as vice president of player personnel, Mark Simpson as VP of player performance and Mike Longabardi, Dean Oliver, Corey Gaines and Jarell Christian as assistants on coach Scott Brooks’ staff. On Wednesday, Sheppard added Laron Profit and John Carideo as pro scouts, in addition to hiring Jamison.

The Wizards are moving on from former GM Ernie Grunfeld after 16 years that included just eight playoff appearances.