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Adam Silver told Dallas Mavericks bench boss Rick Carlisle he "jumped the gun" earlier Thursday when the NBA commissioner said some of the league's older head coaches may not be permitted on the bench during games because of their higher vulnerability to the coronavirus, Carlisle told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Carlisle, the president of the NBA Coaches Association, said he spoke with Silver after his appearance on "Inside the NBA" when the remarks were made.
"The health and safety of our coaches is first and foremost," Carlisle said. "It's entirely possible that an NBA coach in his 60s or 70s could be healthier than someone in their 30s or 40s.
"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."
Following Silver's television appearance, New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry, who is 65, said he can't envision a scenario in which he isn't manning the sideline.
"That doesn't make sense," Gentry told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne. "How can I coach that way?"
Houston Rockets bench boss Mike D'Antoni, who's 69, was asked Wednesday about possibly being required to wear a mask due to his age, and he didn't take too kindly to the notion.
"I am sure they want to keep everyone safe, but to start singling people out with more risk, well, I would hope they wouldn't want to get into that," D'Antoni told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Warren LeGarie, who represents Gentry and D'Antoni, told Wojnarowski that he worries about "stigmas" being attached to older coaches like his clients, and believes all coaches should be subject to the same safety protocols.
Both Gentry and D'Antoni have been adamant about continuing to work despite warnings from the CDC for those aged 65-plus.
Silver adds that he doesn't think the season will be halted again if an individual tests positive for COVID-19, as long as the league is "testing every day and able to trace," according to The Athletic's Blake Murphy.