Nate McMillan
McMillan Hawks.jpg
McMillan with the Atlanta Hawks in 2021
Atlanta Hawks
PositionHead coach
LeagueNBA
Personal information
Born (1964-08-03) August 3, 1964 (age 58)
Raleigh, North Carolina
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High schoolWilliam G. Enloe
(Raleigh, North Carolina)
College
NBA draft1986 / Round: 2 / Pick: 30th overall
Selected by the Seattle SuperSonics
Playing career1986–1998
PositionPoint guard / Shooting guard
Number10
Coaching career1998–present
Career history
As player:
19861998Seattle SuperSonics
As coach:
19982000Seattle SuperSonics (assistant)
20002005Seattle SuperSonics
20052012Portland Trail Blazers
20132016Indiana Pacers (assistant)
20162020Indiana Pacers
2020–2021Atlanta Hawks (assistant)
2021–presentAtlanta Hawks
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points4,733 (5.9 ppg)
Assists4,893 (6.1 apg)
Steals1,544 (1.9 spg)
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at NBA.com
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at Basketball-Reference.com
Medals
Men's basketball
Representing  United States
Olympic Games
Assistant coach for  United States
Gold medal – first place 2008 Beijing Men's basketball
Gold medal – first place 2012 London Men's basketball
FIBA World Championship
Assistant coach for  United States
Bronze medal – third place 2006 Japan Men's basketball
FIBA Americas Championship
Assistant coach for  United States
Gold medal – first place 2007 Las Vegas Men's basketball

Nathaniel McMillan (born August 3, 1964) is an American basketball coach and former player who serves as head coach of the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He coached the Seattle SuperSonics from 2000 to 2005, the Portland Trail Blazers from 2005 to 2012, and the Indiana Pacers from 2016 to 2020. He spent his entire 12-year NBA playing career with the SuperSonics, then served as an assistant coach for one-and-a-half years and as head coach for almost five years. His long tenure as a player and coach in Seattle earned him the nickname "Mr. Sonic".

High school and college career

McMillan grew up in the heart of North Carolina's basketball country and attended Raleigh's William G. Enloe High School, where he went unnoticed by major college scouts. After playing for two years at Chowan College (then a two-year school) in Murfreesboro, North Carolina,[1][2] he returned to Raleigh to play for Jim Valvano at North Carolina State. McMillan helped lead NC State to a first-place tie in the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season in 1985, and to the Elite Eight in both the 1985 and 1986 NCAA Championship Tournaments, where the Wolfpack lost to St. John's and Kansas, respectively. During his time at NC State, McMillan played alongside a number of fellow future NBA players: Spud Webb, Lorenzo Charles, Cozell McQueen, Chris Washburn, Vinny Del Negro, Charles Shackleford, and Chucky Brown.

Professional career

McMillan was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics with the 30th pick in the 1986 NBA draft. He spent his entire NBA career in Seattle. During his 12-year playing career, McMillan put up career averages of 5.9 points, 6.1 assists and 1.9 steals. He still shares (with Ernie DiGregorio) the NBA rookie record for assists in a single game with 25. McMillan served as the primary starting point guard for the SuperSonics from the time he replaced Danny Young midway through the 1986-87 season, until he was replaced at the start of the 1990-91 season by future NBA Hall of Famer Gary Payton, then a rookie and the number two pick in the 1990 draft.[3][4][5] McMillan was known for his superb defense, leading the NBA in steals per game for the 1993–94 season and being named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team for the 1993–94 and 1994–95 seasons. McMillan was also known for his balanced play, which led to four career triple-doubles.

In the 1995–96 season, McMillan helped the SuperSonics reach the NBA Finals against the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls. The SuperSonics were the only team to beat the Bulls three times that season (once in the regular season and twice in the playoffs).[6]

Known as "Mr. Sonic" for his 19 years of service to the team, his number 10 jersey was retired by the SuperSonics. He was also known to be one third of the "Big Mac" trio of the SuperSonics in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the others being Xavier McDaniel and Derrick McKey.[citation needed]

Coaching career

Seattle SuperSonics (1998–2005)

After retiring in 1998, McMillan stayed in Seattle as an assistant under Paul Westphal. He held this role until 2000 when the Sonics fired Westphal and made McMillan interim coach. Although the team missed the playoffs during his first year, he earned a winning record of 38–29 as interim head coach. He was hired as head coach for the 2001–02 campaign and led the club to the playoffs.[7]

McMillan's Sonics had mediocre records the next two years, going 40–42 and 37–45. In the 2004–05 season, he led the team to 52–30 record in the regular season.[7] The team advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals, where they lost to the San Antonio Spurs.[8]

Portland Trail Blazers (2005–2012)

After spending 19 years in Seattle as a player and coach, McMillan left Seattle on July 6, 2005, to become the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers.[9] He took over a team riddled with cap problems and off-the-court drama, but steadily calmed the waters in Portland. His hard-nosed coaching style earned him the nickname "Sarge."[6] On December 5, 2009, McMillan ruptured his right Achilles tendon while scrimmaging with the Trail Blazers during practice.[10] He coached much of the season in a protective boot after surgery and led the team to 50 wins in spite of a historic number of injuries to his key players.[citation needed] McMillan coached the Blazers until March 15, 2012.[11]

Indiana Pacers (2013–2020)

On July 1, 2013, McMillan was hired by the Indiana Pacers as an assistant coach for the 2013–14 season.[12] He replaced Brian Shaw, who accepted the head coaching position with the Denver Nuggets.[13] In May 2016, after former head coach Frank Vogel's contract was not extended, McMillan was promoted to replace Vogel as the Pacers' coach.[14] In McMillan's first year as head coach, the team experienced turmoil surrounding the displeasure and eventual departure of All-Star Paul George, who was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in June 2017. Despite this drama, the Pacers made the playoffs in all four of McMillan's seasons with the team, including three straight years without George. This was due largely to the emergence of the two players for whom he was traded, Victor Oladipo, who won the league's award for Most Improved Player in 2017 and was named to his first All-Star team in 2018, and Domantas Sabonis, who would also become an All-Star two years later in 2019. On August 12, 2020, Indiana announced that they had extended McMillan's contract. However, he was then fired a mere two weeks later, on August 26, 2020, after the Pacers were swept in the first round of the playoffs for the second year in a row, the fourth first round exit and third first round sweep in four playoff appearances under McMillan.[15]

Atlanta Hawks (2020–present)

On November 11, 2020, the Atlanta Hawks hired McMillan as an assistant coach under Lloyd Pierce.[16] On March 1, 2021, McMillan was named interim head coach after the firing of Pierce.[17][18] Following McMillan's promotion, Atlanta promptly went on an eight-game winning streak, begun with a victory over the defending Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat on March 2, 2021, and capped off by a win over the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers on March 20, 2021.[19] The Hawks finished the season 27-11 under McMillan's leadership,[20] ending a four-year playoff drought and earning the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta's success continued on into the playoffs. They beat the fourth-seeded New York Knicks in five games, and continued their improbable run by upsetting the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers in a hard-fought seven-game series. With that series win, the Hawks made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, only the second time in 54 years they have advanced past the second round. There they faced the third-seeded Milwaukee Bucks, led by two-time league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. McMillan led the Hawks to their first ever win in the Conference Finals, defeating the Milwaukee Bucks 116–113 in Game 1. However, the Hawks would lose the series in six games.[21] On July 5, McMillan and the Hawks agreed in principle to drop the "interim" tag from his title and make him the franchise's 14th head coach since the team moved to Atlanta, with a four-year contract. General manager Travis Schlenk said that while the language of the contract was still being drawn up, "I'm excited he's going to be our head coach going forward."[22] The deal was formally announced on July 7, with Schlenk praising the "incredible job" McMillan had done after taking over the team in mid-season.[23]

National team career

McMillan was an assistant coach under Mike Krzyzewski for the US national team in the 2006 FIBA World Championship and in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, winning bronze and gold medals, respectively.[24] He is also a member of the National Junior College Basketball Hall of Fame, due to his All-American performance at Chowan.

McMillan again served as an assistant coach under Krzyzewski for the US national team during the 2012 London Summer Olympics.[25]

Career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
 *  Led the league

Source[5]

NBA

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1986–87 Seattle 71 50 27.8 .475 .000 .617 4.7 8.2 1.8 .6 5.3
1987–88 Seattle 82 82* 29.9 .474 .375 .707 4.1 8.6 2.1 .6 7.6
1988–89 Seattle 75 74 31.2 .410 .214 .630 5.2 9.3 2.1 .6 7.3
1989–90 Seattle 82* 69 28.5 .473 .355 .641 4.9 7.3 1.7 .5 6.4
1990–91 Seattle 78 0 18.4 .433 .354 .613 3.2 4.8 1.3 .3 4.3
1991–92 Seattle 72 30 22.9 .437 .276 .643 3.5 5.0 1.8 .4 6.0
1992–93 Seattle 73 25 27.1 .464 .385 .709 4.2 5.3 2.4 .5 7.5
1993–94 Seattle 73 8 25.8 .447 .391 .564 3.9 5.3 3.0* .3 6.0
1994–95 Seattle 80 18 25.9 .418 .342 .586 3.8 5.3 2.1 .7 5.2
1995–96 Seattle 55 14 22.9 .420 .340 .707 3.8 3.6 1.7 .3 5.0
1996–97 Seattle 37 2 21.6 .409 .333 .655 3.2 3.8 1.6 .2 4.6
1997–98 Seattle 18 1 15.5 .343 .441 1.000 2.2 3.1 .8 .2 3.4
Career 796 373 25.7 .443 .343 .650 4.0 6.1 1.9 .5 5.9

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1987 Seattle 14 14 25.4 .435 .708 3.9 8.0 1.0 .7 5.1
1988 Seattle 5 5 25.4 .343 .000 .643 4.2 6.6 .4 .6 6.6
1989 Seattle 8 7 25.5 .475 .000 .640 3.1 7.9 1.3 .6 6.8
1991 Seattle 5 0 19.0 .261 .000 .500 3.6 4.4 1.2 .2 2.8
1992 Seattle 9 2 27.3 .422 .231 .714 3.7 7.0 1.8 .3 9.6
1993 Seattle 19 2 21.8 .340 .208 .533 3.5 5.4 2.1 .6 4.8
1994 Seattle 5 0 21.8 .320 .364 .250 3.2 2.0 1.2 .2 4.2
1995 Seattle 4 4 28.3 .348 .125 1.000 4.5 7.3 2.5 .5 4.8
1996 Seattle 19 0 20.3 .406 .475 .643 3.7 2.7 1.2 .3 4.4
1997 Seattle 3 0 13.7 .000 .000 1.7 1.0 .3 .0 .0
1998 Seattle 7 0 14.1 .333 .167 1.000 2.3 2.1 .4 .3 2.3
Career 98 34 22.3 .381 .289 .632 3.5 5.2 1.3 .4 5.0

Head coaching record

Legend
Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Playoffs PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
Seattle 2000–01 67 38 29 .567 5th in Pacific Missed playoffs
Seattle 2001–02 82 45 37 .549 4th in Pacific 5 2 3 .400 Lost in First Round
Seattle 2002–03 82 40 42 .488 5th in Pacific Missed playoffs
Seattle 2003–04 82 37 45 .451 5th in Pacific Missed playoffs
Seattle 2004–05 82 52 30 .634 1st in Northwest 11 6 5 .545 Lost in Conference Semifinals
Portland 2005–06 82 21 61 .256 5th in Northwest Missed playoffs
Portland 2006–07 82 32 50 .390 3rd in Northwest Missed playoffs
Portland 2007–08 82 41 41 .500 3rd in Northwest Missed playoffs
Portland 2008–09 82 54 28 .659 1st in Northwest 6 2 4 .333 Lost in First Round
Portland 2009–10 82 50 32 .610 3rd in Northwest 6 2 4 .333 Lost in First Round
Portland 2010–11 82 48 34 .585 3rd in Northwest 6 2 4 .333 Lost in First Round
Portland 2011–12 43 20 23 .465 (fired)
Indiana 2016–17 82 42 40 .512 4th in Central 4 0 4 .000 Lost in First Round
Indiana 2017–18 82 48 34 .585 2nd in Central 7 3 4 .429 Lost in First Round
Indiana 2018–19 82 48 34 .585 2nd in Central 4 0 4 .000 Lost in First Round
Indiana 2019–20 73 45 28 .616 2nd in Central 4 0 4 .000 Lost in First Round
Atlanta 2020–21 38 27 11 .711 1st in Southeast 18 10 8 .556 Lost in Conference Finals
Atlanta 2021–22 82 43 39 .524 2nd in Southeast 5 1 4 .200 Lost in First Round
Career 1,369 731 638 .534   76 28 48 .368  

Personal life

His son Jamelle played as a guard for the Arizona State Sun Devils[26] and was an assistant coach with the New Orleans Pelicans from 2013 to 2020. Jamelle is now an assistant coach with the Atlanta Hawks working for his father.[27][28]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Nate McMillian". The Official Athletics Site of the Chowan University Hawks. Chowan University. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  2. ^ "Nate McMillan". NBA.
  3. ^ "Seattle SuperSonics 1986-87 Starting Lineups". Basketball-Reference.com.
  4. ^ "Seattle SuperSonics 1990-91 Starting Lineups". Basketball-Reference.com.
  5. ^ a b "Nate McMillan Stats". Basketball Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved March 24, 2022.
  6. ^ a b Buckner, Candace (May 16, 2016). "Insider: 10 things to know about new Pacers coach Nate McMillan". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Nate McMillan Coaching Record". Basketball-reference.com. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  8. ^ "2004-2005 Seattle Supersonics". Pointafter.com. Retrieved May 20, 2016.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Trail Blazers hire Nate McMillan". Billings Gazette. July 6, 2005. Retrieved May 21, 2016.
  10. ^ "Blazers' injuries, ailments continue to pile up". The Oregonian. December 8, 2009. Retrieved April 24, 2010.
  11. ^ Buckner, Candace. "Nate McMillan finalizing negotiations to be Pacers coach". No. May 15, 2016. Indianapolis Star. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  12. ^ "Indiana Pacers hire Nate McMillan as associate head coach – NBA Blog".
  13. ^ "Home". Archived from the original on July 3, 2013. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  14. ^ "Pacers Name Nate McMillan Head Coach". NBA.com. May 16, 2016. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  15. ^ "Pacers fire McMillan after being swept in playoffs". ESPN.com. October 30, 2020.
  16. ^ "Atlanta Hawks Name Nate McMillan Assistant Coach". NBA.com. November 11, 2020. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  17. ^ "Nate McMillan Named Interim Head Coach of The Atlanta Hawks". NBA.com. March 1, 2021. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  18. ^ "Atlanta Hawks fire coach Lloyd Pierce". ESPN.com. March 1, 2021. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  19. ^ "Hawks Win Eighth In A Row; LeBron James Injured". ajc.com. March 20, 2021. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  20. ^ "Atlanta Hawks Schedule 2020-2021". espn.com. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  21. ^ "Bucks beat Hawks, head to NBA Finals for 1st time since 1974". ESPN.com. July 3, 2021. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  22. ^ Tim Bontemps (July 5, 2021). "Atlanta Hawks reach deal to remove interim tag from coach Nate McMillan's title". ESPN.
  23. ^ "Atlanta Hawks Name Nate McMillan Head Coach". NBA.com. July 7, 2021. Retrieved July 8, 2021.
  24. ^ 2006 USA Basketball Archived 2007-10-14 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ "USA Basketball: Nate McMillan". archive.usab.com. January 23, 2013. Archived from the original on January 30, 2018. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  26. ^ "Jamelle McMillan Profile". Arizona State University Athletics. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  27. ^ "Pelicans announce coaching staff additions and changes". NBA.com. September 13, 2019. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  28. ^ "Sources: Pelicans parting ways with assistant coach Jamelle McMillan".