The Atlanta Hawks lay off coach Nate McMillan with 29-30 record at All-Star Break

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This Tuesday the Atlanta Hawks, who are in the middle of a relatively mediocre campaign, have decided to fire coach Nate McMillan as their expectations have not been fulfilled up to this All-Star break. As of now, the responsability will fall on assistant coach Joe Prunty as interim until management finds a better solution. 

The last time the Atlanta team changed a coach in the middle of a season, it actually had great repercussions. As this championship doesn’t feel like the Hawks are actually going to contend for the title, looking for a new leader at the head of the squad might be a good answer.

Two years ago, management discharged Lloyd Pierce and exchanged him for McMillan, who took the team all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals. That 2020/21 season, the head coach finally got the permanent job and set a new standard for Atlanta, the same bar that he is under this time around and cost him his job.

However, it’s not like the Hawks’ season has been that poor. The Georgia side ranks 8th in the Eastern Conference so far, with a 29-30 record up to the All-Star break. This means that beside the latest drastic measures, the team is actually on their way to the qualify to the playoffs.

A few of our recommended sport betting sites believe the Atlanta side have only the 14th best odds (+10,000) to win the NBA championship this year, sharing the same chances as the Brooklyn Nets.

McMillan didn’t always fit in the modern NBA, as he is an old-school type of leader. An example of this is how he never catered to his star’s dramas, just like when he had a dispute with Trae Young a couple of months ago. The point guard had chosen to sit out on a training drill to recieve medical treatment, and McMillan wasn’t into giving anyone star treatment and told the player if he didn’t participated he would miss the next game.

Journalist Shams Charania had reports that suggested the coach had been looking for a change for awhile now. “In the weeks to come, I’m told Nate McMillan multiple times requested and asked to step down as head coach of the Hawks,” the insider posted on social media. 

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was one of the first to report on the situation. Watch his initial reactions about the news on this Breaking News section:

After Atlanta acquired Dejounte Murray this past offseason, there were very high expectations in the Hawks camp for this campaign. The belief was that Murray’s defensive traits would complement point guard Trae Young as both of them would share the court simultaneously. Nevertheless, the team has struggled to even play .500 basketball this season.

58-year-old McMillan has been at it for years now, as the Hawks were his fourth job as head coach of an NBA franchise. Before, the former player coached the Seattle SuperSonics, Portland Trail Blazers and the Indiana Pacers, reaching the playoffs with every single squad he led.

His next objective as a coach will be to finally reach the NBA Finals someday.

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