Monday’s roundup: Pacers assistant McMillan hired
Indianapolis — The Pacers promoted assistant Nate McMillan to head coach on Monday, ending the search for Frank Vogel’s replacement after less than two weeks.
McMillan spent 12 seasons as the head coach in Seattle and Portland, going 478-452 in the regular season and 14-20 in the playoffs.
He was hired by Vogel in 2013 and spent the past three seasons with the Pacers, where he developed relationships with the players and president of basketball operations Larry Bird. McMillan already had a bond with Pacers general manager Kevin Pritchard from their days in Portland.
Bird announced May 5 Vogel would not be retained after his contract expired and he believed the Pacers needed to hear a different voice in the locker room. Bird found his man just a few seats down the bench from Vogel.
“It’s not like you have to get up in players’ faces and yell and scream anymore,” Bird said. “But you do have to have control and I think Nate will do that.”
McMillan takes over a team with growing expectations.
Indiana has been to the playoffs in five of the last six seasons, reached the 2013 and 2014 Eastern Conference finals and came within one win this season of advancing to the conference semifinals for the fourth time in five years.
“There is a lot of old school in me,” McMillan said. “But I do understand you have to adapt with this generation of players, which we call the millennials, and how you communicate with them.”
Towns top rookie
Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns is the unanimous winner of the NBA Rookie of the Year award.
Towns gives the Wolves back-to-back honorees after forward Andrew Wiggins won the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy last season.
The 7-foot Towns received all 130 first-place votes from a panel of sports writers and broadcasters in the United States and Canada, joining Damian Lillard (2013), Blake Griffin (2011), David Robinson (1990) and Ralph Sampson (1984) as recent unanimous winners.
New York’s Kristaps Porzingis finished second, and Denver’s Nikola Jokic was third.
The first pick out of Kentucky in the 2015 draft, Towns averaged 18.1 points, 10.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks.
The Wolves became the first team with back-to-back winners of the award since Bob McAdoo and Ernie DiGregorio with the Buffalo Braves in 1973 and 1974.
Towns was the only rookie to start all 82 games.
Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas will not play in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Cavaliers because of an injured right ankle.
... The 76ers have become the first team in the NBA to put a sponsorship logo on player uniforms, striking a deal with StubHub for a spot on one of the hottest pieces of real estate available in sports.
... Jim McMillian, who helped the Lakers to a 33-game winning streak and the 1972 NBA championship, died Monday. He was 68.
He died from complications of heart failure at a hospital in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, according to his sister-in-law Denise Sheridan.
When: Tuesday, at approximately 8 p.m. from New York City
Format: Ping pong balls are used to determine the first three picks of the draft. Philadelphia, the the team with the worst record, has the most balls.
Top players: The No. pick is expected to be Ben Simmons of LSU or Brandon Ingram of Duke.
Philadelphia, 250 balls
L.A. Lakers, 199 balls
Boston (from Brooklyn), 156 balls
Phoenix, 119 balls
Minnesota, 88 balls
New Orleans, 63 balls
New York (to Denver or Toronto), 43 balls
Sacramento, 19 balls
Denver, 19 balls
Milwaukee, 18 balls
Orlando, 8 balls
Utah, 7 balls
Washington, 6 balls
Chicago, 5 balls
* If Sacramento gets lucky and gets the No. 1 pick, the 76ers can exchange their pick for Sacramento’s.
* If the Lakers' pick is not in the top three, it goes to Philadelphia.
* If the Knicks get the top pick, it goes to Denver. If not, the pick goes to Toronto.