NBA Notes: Boylan won't return as Bucks head coach


NBA Notes: Boylan won't return as Bucks head coach

ST. FRANCIS, Wis. -- Jim Boylan will not return as coach of the Milwaukee Bucks.

The announcement Wednesday, long expected, comes three days after the Bucks were swept out of their first playoff appearance in three years. General manager John Hammond says a search for a new coach will begin "immediately."

Boylan took over Jan. 8 after the Bucks and Scott Skiles parted ways. Though Milwaukee won its first two games under Boylan and eight of his first 11, the Bucks fell apart at the end of the season. They lost 12 of their last 16 games to finish with a losing record for a third straight year, and had to play the defending champion Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs.

Boylan finishes with a 22-32 record (see full story).

Spoelstra pulling right strings
MIAMI -- Erik Spoelstra has spent three years talking about sacrifices made by Miami Heat players, how individual egos get checked at the door of the locker room in pursuit of greater goals.

The Heat coach applies the same rules to himself.

Spoelstra doesn't want to know how many coaches have won back-to-back NBA championships -- it's seven, by the way. He shakes off any talk about his own legacy or how some around the league think he should be a coach-of-the-year candidate this season. And when conversation is sparked about how he manages such a deep roster, he usually gives credit to his staff.

Heat guard Dwyane Wade says Spoelstra's talent as a manager of talent is overlooked. "He's done it," Wade says (see full story).

Summer league adds championship round
MIAMI -- The NBA Summer League is adding a championship round.

The league announced Wednesday that for the first time since the summer league's inception in 2004, it will feature a format that includes preliminary games followed by a single-elimination tournament leading to an eventual champion.

This year's summer league starts in Las Vegas on July 12, and the champion will be crowned on July 22. All teams will play at least five games, with the tournament set to begin after teams are seeding following the conclusion of games played July 16.

Several of the league's top eventual rookies have played in the league in recent years, including Chris Paul, Brandon Roy, Kevin Durant, Tyreke Evans, Blake Griffin, Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard (see full story).

Best of NBA: Dwyane Wade hits dagger 3-pointer in Bulls debut

Best of NBA: Dwyane Wade hits dagger 3-pointer in Bulls debut

CHICAGO -- Dwyane Wade scored 22 points in a triumphant Chicago debut, Jimmy Butler had 24 and the Bulls won their season opener, beating the Boston Celtics 105-99 on Thursday night.

Wade nailed a 3 from the corner in the final minute to make it a five-point game. Taj Gibson added 18 points and 10 rebounds, and the new-look Bulls got off to a winning start after missing the playoffs last season for the first time since 2008.

Isaiah Thomas led Boston with 25 points. Avery Bradley had 16, and Jae Crowder 14 points, but the Celtics came up short after opening with a win over Brooklyn the previous night.

The Bulls remade their roster in the offseason, jettisoning one hometown superstar and welcoming another when they traded Derrick Rose to New York and signed Wade to a two-year deal worth about $47 million in a move that stunned Miami.

The three-time NBA champion and 12-time All-Star is off to a good start with the Bulls after 13 seasons with the Heat.

Wade hit 4 of 6 3-pointers in this game after making just seven all of last season (see full recap).

New-look Hawks roll past Wizards
ATLANTA -- Dwight Howard dominated the boards in his Atlanta debut, Paul Millsap scored 28 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. ignited the new-look Hawks to a 114-99 victory over the Washington Wizards in their season opener Thursday night.

Howard grabbed 19 rebounds to go along with 11 points, just what the Hawks expected from their new center, and it certainly wasn't unusual for three-time All-Star Millsap to lead the way in scoring.

But Hardaway's performance was totally unexpected given the way he struggled in his first season with the Hawks, when he was largely confined to the bench and even forced to spend time in the D-League.

He scored 21 points, matching his high in an Atlanta uniform, and broke open a close game with back-to-back 3-pointers in the fourth. The Hawks, who led only 81-80 heading to the final period, outscored the Wizards 33-19 over the final 12 minutes (see full recap).

Report: Sixers exec Jason Wiley led meeting on national anthem issue

Report: Sixers exec Jason Wiley led meeting on national anthem issue

The Sixers' meeting on Thursday to address the national anthem situation on opening night was led by VP of Content and Integrated Marketing Jason Wiley, John Gonzalez reported.

Wiley and team executives decided not to have Sevyn Streeter perform the national anthem because she wore a "We Matter" shirt, according to the report. The team had concerns Streeter would have further protests. 

A member of the Sixers' dance team performed in her place.

Wiley helped book Streeter, according to the report, and had previously worked for Bad Boy Records and had music industry contacts.

CBS3 reported Thursday that Streeter had signed a contract that barred her from making a political statement during the performance (see story).

The Sixers discussed the incident and are considering options on how to address it (see story).

“I think the team, not only do we want to speak up on the matter that happened yesterday, but I feel like we’re now starting to push, like it’s not just about saying something, it’s about making a difference,” Nik Stauskas said. “It’s about going out there and doing something. So we don’t really know what we’re going to do yet, but I know a lot of guys on this team are eager to go out there and make a difference one way or another.”