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Pacers Hire Nate McMillan As Head Coach

July 11, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Team USA assistant coach Nate McMillan during practice at the UNLV Mendenhall Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gary A. Vasquez / USA TODAY Sports Images

12:38pm: McMillan signed a three-year contract with the Pacers, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link). There are no options included in the deal.

11:55am: In advance of their formal news conference today, the Pacers have confirmed in a press release that Nate McMillan has been hired as the team’s new head coach. McMillan, who has been an assistant with the team since 2013, replaces Frank Vogel, who was let go on May 5th.

Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical first reported on Saturday that the Pacers were putting the final touches on a deal to promote McMillan to the head coaching job. According to Wojnarowski, Pacers officials offered McMillan the job during his interview late last week.

“I truly believe Nate is the right coach for us at this time,” Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird said in a statement on Monday. “When I heard he was interested, I got in touch with him, met with him and in our conversation I came away with all the confidence in the world in Nate to lead our franchise to where we want to go. His experience as a player, head coach and assistant coach in the NBA are valuable assets for us.”

This will be the third NBA head coaching job for McMillan, who spent nearly five seasons as the coach in Seattle and six and a half with Portland. He has a 478-452 career record, along with five playoff appearances.

The Pacers considered several former NBA coaches and current assistants before deciding on the 51-year-old McMillan. He was also reported to be a finalist for the Kings job that went to Dave Joerger and was listed as a possible candidate for the Wizards’ opening before they hired Scott Brooks.

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10 thoughts on “Pacers Hire Nate McMillan As Head Coach

  1. TJECK109

    NBA seems like the one league that loves it’s retreads.

  2. I thought bird wanted to get out and run more

  3. Gucci7383

    I thought bird wanted a more up tempo approach isn’t Nate known as an defensive assistant

  4. TDKnies

    Happy for the new coach, but man does this not make sense from the Pacers side. You fire a guy for not being able to get the team over the hump and replace him with one of his assistants? Doesn’t seem like a recipe to fix whatever was wrong if you barely make a change. They’re supposed to know best though, so for their and the fans’ sakes I hope it turns out that they actually do.

  5. Not sure what the deal is with this. Larry said he needed a new voice in the locker room. Macmillan has been here since 2013. I think Larry is full of himself. I really don’t mind the hire but it just means he was full of it when he gave his reasons for letting Vogel leave.

  6. Arthur Hill

    Larry Bird believes a coach can only be effective for three seasons. McMillan should start making plans for 2019.

  7. Tommy Noble

    I thought his contract was not renewed so to write “fired” isn’t accurate.

    • Luke Adams

      Good point. I modified the wording on that.

  8. BSPORT

    I think Larry was threatened having a coach that knows more about the modern game than he does. All good now.

  9. South_Side757

    Herb, time for a new President of basketball operations.
    Mike D’ Antoni would’ve been the only worse option.
    Jim Boylan?
    Jarron Collins?
    Dave Fizdale?
    Time to leave, Larry.

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