The Atlanta Hawks may have come up short in their playoff run to the NBA Finals but they are keeping one of the main components that was responsible for their success. On Monday, July 5, Atlanta Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk announced that the organization has an agreement in place to make Nate McMillan the permanent head coach of the team after he led the Hawks all the way to the Eastern Conference finals as their interim head coach.
According to ESPN, McMillan’s new deal with the Hawks is for four years. The 56-year-old McMillan started with the Hawks as an assistant last November under former head coach Lloyd Pierce. McMillan took over the head coaching responsibilities as in interim role after Pierce was let go in March 2021. At the time, the team’s record was 14-20 and they were nowhere near playoff contention in the Eastern Conference.
McMillan finished the season 27-11 after he took over and led the team as they defeated the New York Knicks in the first round of the playoffs, and the Philadelphia 76ers in the semifinals before eventually losing to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games in the conference finals.
“We’re just drawing up the contract,” Schlenk told ESPN. “We’ve now worked together for four months. We’ve had a good working relationship, and I’m excited he’s going to be our head coach moving forward. From the first day when he took over as interim head coach, we both made the decision we were going to get to the end of the season before we talked. The season obviously ended the other day, and we started talking to his agents yesterday and came to a deal this morning.”
McMillan’s 16-year-career as a head coach includes five with the Seattle SuperSonics, seven with the Portland Trail Blazers and the previous four with the Indiana Pacers, before being hired as an assistant in Atlanta.