Speaking with reporters during his end-of-season media availability, Atlanta Hawks president and general manager Travis Schlenk announced that the Hawks had agree to make 56-year-old Nate McMillan the team’s next head coach.
McMillan had been Atlanta’s interim head coach since March 1, when the Hawks decided to part ways with current Indiana Pacers assistant coach Lloyd Pierce after two-plus seasons with the team.
A head coach for the Pacers prior to joining Atlanta’s staff last November, McMillan’s extensive experience both as a player and coach allowed him to right a sinking ship in the Southeast.
Under McMillan, the Hawks went 27-11 in the regular season (after a 14-20 start), winning 71.1 percent of their contests after he took the reigns.
While the Hawks’ Cinderella run was the first time McMillan had reached the Conference Finals as a coach, McMillan’s structured approach was undoubtedly a catalyst for one of the East’s deepest teams achieving their success.
Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, McMillan’s deal with Atlanta is for four years, with the franchise agreeing to promote the former NBA guard after the Hawks reached the Eastern Conference Finals.
The success that the Phoenix Suns are currently having may not be all too far away for the Hawks, let alone far-fetched. That’s why, with a long-term contract for one of the game’s best head coaches, Atlanta has already gotten the jump on being one of the NBA’s teams to beat.
With the Hawks rolling but still having plenty of room to improve, the sky is the limit for an emerging league power.