The Atlanta Hawks have parted ways with Nate McMillan as head coach after his career with the team came to an end.
The Atlanta Braves sacked their head coach following a 29-30 start to the season. Assistant coach Joe Prunty will serve as interim coach for the remainder of the season for an Eastern Conference team still in postseason contention.
Why Atlanta Hawks Fires Head Coach?
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN said that the Hawks will begin their hunt for McMillan’s permanent replacement immediately and that former Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder, Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Charles Lee, and Golden State Warriors assistant coach Kenny Atkinson may be considered.
After making waves in December when Trae Young skipped a game against the Denver Nuggets, the Hawks have made this move.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Sam Amick stated that he was away from the club following a dispute with McMillan and added that several team meetings were held early in the season to handle various disputes.
During that conversation, Young made a remark along the lines of, We’re all grown men here, and we don’t always agree. It is unfortunate that private events and conversations are brought into the public eye.
Atlanta is in eighth place in the Eastern Conference and behind the sixth-seeded New York Knicks by 3.5 games in the fight to escape the play-in tournament. Nonetheless, it is only three games ahead of the 11th-seeded Chicago Bulls, indicating that the season’s outcome is still highly unpredictable.
This puts Prunty under a great deal of pressure in his interim role, even if the Hawks ultimately look elsewhere for their next coach.
McMillan played 12 seasons for the Seattle SuperSonics from 1986 to 1998 and has a wealth of head coaching experience, having previously coached the SuperSonics, Portland Trail Blazers, and Indiana Pacers.
As Atlanta fired Lloyd Pierce during the 2020-21 season, he took over as head coach and immediately makes a mark by leading the team to an unexpected trip to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Unfortunately, the Hawks lost in the first round to the Miami Heat last season and have faced inconsistency to this time in 2022-23. As the team’s head coach, McMillan compiled a 99-80 series record.