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Scott Brooks agrees to deal to become Washington coach – Details
- Updated: April 23, 2016
Scott Brooks has agreed to a contract to coach the Washington Wizards, a person familiar with the agreement told USA TODAY Sports.
The Wizards reached agreement with Brooks on Thursday to become the team’s head coach, two people familiar with the deal said. The sides agreed on a five-year deal, one of the people said.
Scott Brooks had a 338-207 record in seven years with Oklahoma City. He helped develop Durant and Russell Westbrook into All-Stars and led the Thunder to the NBA Finals in 2012.
Scott Brooks replaces Randy Wittman, whose contract option was not picked up after Washington went 41-41 and finished 10th in the Eastern Conference. The Wizards succumbed to injuries and inconsistency in Wittman’s final season and were among the league’s most disappointing teams after reaching the second round of the playoffs the past two seasons.
The Wizards moved quickly to bring in a coach who was very much in demand, ensuring that the Houston Rockets, a team for which Brooks played during his NBA career and is in the first round of the playoffs against the Warriors, didn’t get a chance to consider him.
Durant grew up in the Washington area and will be a free agent this summer. The Wizards have plenty of cap space to add a player of Durant’s caliber to a team led by All-Star point guard John Wall and shooting guard Bradley Beal.
Silver’s plans: Commissioner Adam Silver says the NBA has been “crystal clear” that the 2017 All-Star Game stays in Charlotte only if a North Carolina law goes. Political and business leaders with whom he has spoken in the state believe it will, so he’s holding off for now on setting any deadlines for when the NBA might act.
Silver said last week that the law that limits anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people was “problematic” for the league. He also said dialogue is more useful than ultimatums and has continued discussions with North Carolina officials.
“The sense was that if the NBA could give us some time, they in the community of North Carolina were optimistic they would see a change in the law,” Silver said at a meeting of Associated Press Sports Editors in New York.
Silver also said he hopes there will be a change to the rules about hack-a-Shaq-style intentional fouls away from the ball because of the time the strategy is adding to games.
“It’s become a real business issue when many of our games are dramatically exceeding the 2½-hour window they have set aside in their broadcast schedule,” Silver said.
One possibility would be extending to the entire game the rule used in the final two minutes, when an intentional foul away from the ball leads to one free throw for any player on the team and the retention of possession.
Briefly: Charlotte forward Nicolas Batum has been ruled out for Saturday night’s Game 3 against Miami with a sprained left foot. … Atlanta guard Dennis Schroder (left ankle) is questionable for Game 3 against Boston.