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Philadelphia 76ers Hire Doc Rivers As Head Coach

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The Philadelphia 76ers and Doc Rivers have come to an agreement for him to become the franchise’s next head coach.

What we know:

  • According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Rivers and Sixers management agreed to a five-year deal. Sixers general manager Elton Brand reached out to Rivers and his representation on Monday. Both sides met in Philadelphia on Wednesday to discuss the opening and watch Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
  • This is one of the fastest fired-to-hired turnarounds that an NBA coach has experienced. Rivers parted ways with his head coaching job for the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday, and he got his new offer on Thursday.
  • The Sixers fired former coach Brett Brown in August. The frontrunners for this position were Clippers assistant coach Tyronne Lue and former Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni. It looked like the Sixers had settled on D’Antoni, but Rivers became available and rapidly became the organization’s top choice.
  • Philadelphia is coming off of a disappointing season where they finished 6th in the Eastern Conference and were swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. The Sixers’ weaknesses were exposed this year, but this team could still be interesting with Rivers as a coach.
  • Sixers forward Tobias Harris had a rough go during this year’s playoffs, but he will now get the chance to reunite with his old coach in Doc Rivers. Rivers coached Harris in 2018 with the Clippers and maximized his play. Before being traded to the Sixers, Harris played the best basketball of his career in Los Angeles, averaging 21 points per game.
  • The main pieces on Philadelphia’s roster are their All-Star duo in Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. The pair was once seen as a young core, but the perception has shifted to them being underachievers and that they can’t play together. It will be interesting to see how they fit into Rivers’ system. For Simmons, Rivers has had success in the past with a non-shooter playing point guard in Rajon Rondo. In Embiid’s case, Rivers has coached one of the greatest bigs of all time in Kevin Garnett, and there are similarities in their games. It just so happens that Rivers coached Rondo and Garnett on the championship-winning 2008 Boston Celtics team. We’ll have to see if Rivers can maximize this roster and replicate that success.

According to ESPN, the Sixers are hoping to add Alvin Gentry to Rivers’ staff as an assistant. Gentry was let go as head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans this year, but he won a championship in 2015 as an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors.

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Sagar is a Digital Intern at UnmutedCo. He graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor's degree in Trumpet Performance and Economics. Sagar writes for Black News Alerts and the BNA Daily Podcast. He also produces the BossFM Morning Show.

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ESPN Cancels Rachel Nichols Show After Racist Comments About Maria Taylor

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In addition to cancelling The Jump, ESPN also removed Rachel Nichols from NBA coverage.

What We Know:

  • The network confirmed Nichols’ departure on Thursday. ESPN’s Senior Vice President of Production David Roberts declared in a statement that Nichols and ESPN mutually agreed that ending her time with the channel was the best approach for NBA coverage. Roberts went on to call Nichols “an excellent reporter, host, and journalist;” he also thanked her for her contributions to NBA content.
  • Nichols confirmed her time with the sports network ended on Twitter. On social media, she thanked The Jump’s production crew for assisting her for the past five years and declared there was “more to come.”

  • Nichols’ deadline with ESPN comes after The New York Times released a recording of her bashing coworker Maria Taylor. In a conversation with Lebron James’ adviser Adam Mendelsohn and agent Rich Paul, Nichols implied ESPN only selected Taylor to host  NBA Countdown during the NBA finals because of her skin color. Nichols stated the channel would not take her “thing” away because officials felt pressure about their “crappy longtime record on diversity.”
  • After her comments became public, ESPN removed Nichols from her NBA Finals assignment. She also apologized for her statements on The Jump. Nichols affirmed she respected her colleagues and apologized for disappointing anyone she hurt, especially Taylor.
  • Despite the apologies, Taylor quickly left the channel. After she and ESPN could not reach an agreement on her salary, Taylor proceeded to host the 2021 Tokyo Olympics with NBC Sports. Taylor will also cover Football Night in America, the Super Bowl, and Prime Plus with Mike Trico.

ESPN will continue producing episodes of The Jump without Nichols for the next few weeks. After its run, ESPN will replace it with a new afternoon NBA show.

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Michael B. Jordan Launches Basketball Showcase for HBCU Athletes

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The “Hoop Dreams Classic,” a one-night event in Newark, New Jersey, will feature the nation’s top Division 1 HBCU men’s and women’s basketball teams.

What We Know:

  • HBCU Gameday reported that Hoop Dreams Classic would include two games featuring the teams with the biggest HBCU basketball rivalries. North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University will play against Howard University, and North Carolina Central University will go against Hampton University.
  • The showcase will also celebrate HBCU culture and tradition through live musical performances, a Battle of the Bands competition, and film festivals. It will also provide educational resources for students to learn more about opportunities for college and career advancement.
  • Actor Michael B. Jordan first announced the basketball showcase in December 2020. The Black Panther actor stated he felt inspired to put on the event following the increased global awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement, especially after the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, among others. In a statement, Jordan wrote 2020 was a “tipping point” for many, including himself, who is “revving up support” for the Black community. He further said as a Newark native, he feels committed to bring change to the community and will do so with the Hoop Dreams Classic.

“Through our shared love of basketball, I look forward to bringing the communal spirit of HBCUs to the city that helped shape me into the man I am today,” said Jordan.

  • In addition to the event, Jordan amplifies Black voices and stories through his #ChangeHollywood initiative. This movement aims to hold Hollywood accountable for showcasing Black stories and hiring Black creators.

The Hoop Dreams Classic will take place at Newark’s Prudential Center on December 18, 2021. In addition, a percentage of the proceeds will go to organizations working to advance HBCUs in the area.

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Olympics: Simone Biles out of team gymnastics final ‘due to medical issue,’ officials say

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((BREAKING NEWS))

Biles withdrew due to a medical issue, according to a statement from USA Gymnastics.

“She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions,” officials said in the statement.

The four-time Olympic gold medalist competed in Team USA’s first rotation on vault Tuesday, bailing out of her Amanar and only completing a 1.5 twist on a 2.5-twisting Yurchenko, then taking a big stumble backward on the landing.

She scored a 13.766 and was seen walking off the floor with her bag and a trainer.

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