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Nate McMillan and the Atlanta Hawks reach a new deal to keep him as head coach

May 5, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Hawks coach Nate McMillan talks with guard Trae Young (11) during a time out of their game against the Phoenix Suns at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Nate McMillan and the Atlanta Hawks reach an agreement to keep McMillan as the head coach. Both parties agreed to a new four-year deal. McMillan stepped up as an interim head coach in March, the team went on an improbable playoff run, and now he’ll call Atlanta home for the next four years.

The Hawks began the season 14-20 before McMillan took over. The team would finish the season 27-11 and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

McMillan began his coaching career in Seattle as an assistant in the 1999-2000 season. He later went on to coach in Portland and Indiana before ending up in Atlanta this past season. McMillan has 688 career coaching wins and 27 playoff wins.

The Pacers fired him after a first-round playoff loss to the Miami Heat in the NBA Bubble. Once he was let go, he had no idea what his future held.

McMillan was hesitant about taking the interim head coaching job in Atlanta. He made it clear that he was only going to Atlanta to assist Lloyd Pierce. However, McMillan knew what the team needed to do to turn their season around.

Atlanta is a young team in the middle of a rebuild that feels they can win now. A huge chunk of Atlanta’s core players are all under the age of 25. The team has had the talent but needed the coach that would best suit their style of play.

McMillan switched his coaching approach to get the best out of his players, especially Trae Young. McMillan is an old-school coach but knew that a style like that might not work with this young Atlanta team. He knew they had to grow up quickly if they want to compete, but he also realized he needs to be patient with their development.

McMillan had the Hawks firing on all cylinders and now has Atlanta in a position to contend for many years to come. He went from doubting his coaching career to signing a nice, lucrative extension. Now McMillan expects to call Atlanta home for the next four seasons.

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