Older Coaches Could Be Sidelined In Return – NBA commissioner Adam Silver said there is a chance that older NBA head coaches won’t be able to be on the bench when the league resumes play on July 31 at the Walt Disney World Resort. “I think one of the things we know, we’ve learned a lot about the virus since we shut down in March, and the data is demonstrating that for the most part, and there are exceptions, that [it is] healthy young people that are the least vulnerable,” Silver said while speaking on TNT’s “Inside The NBA” Thursday night. “But there are also people involved in this league, particularly some of the coaches, who are obviously older people and we also know people at any age who have underlying conditions are most vulnerable. “So we are going to have to work through protocols that maybe, for example, certain coaches may not be able to be the bench coach. They may have to retain social distancing protocols. And maybe they can be in the front of a room, a locker room or a ballroom with a whiteboard, but when it comes to actual play we’re not going to want them that close to players in order to protect them. So those are all issues that we are continuing to work through.” Silver’s comments received instant pushback from coaches, including New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry, who is 65. Gentry told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, “That doesn’t make sense. How can I coach that way?” Gentry said he doesn’t think older coaches should be singled out. “Is everybody under 60 in great health?” he asked. In a statement Thursday night, Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, president of the NBA Coaches Association, said he spoke with Silver, who admitted he might have jumped the gun with his comments. “The health and safety of our coaches is first and foremost. It’s entirely possible that an NBA coach in his 60s or 70s could be healthier than someone in their 30s or 40s,” Carlisle said. “The conversation should never be solely about a person’s age. Adam assured me that we would work through this together to help determine what is both safe and fair for all of our coaches.” In addition to Gentry, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich (71), Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni (69), Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts (62) and Carlisle (60) are the head coaches who are 60 or older and slated to participate in the season’s restart. Several others, Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown (59), LA Clippers coach Doc Rivers (58) and Orlando Magic coach Steve Clifford (58), are just under 60. (Tim Bontemps/ESPN) In my opinion, we need to keep all coaches safe, especially those that are more prone to the virus.