Hawks Notes: Pierce, McMillan, Schlenk, Bogdanovic

Addressing reporters on Monday night following the announcement of Lloyd Pierce‘s dismissal, general manager Travis Schlenk didn’t offer a ton of specific details for why the Hawks made a head coaching change, simply stating that the team was underachieving relative to its expectations, as Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta-Journal Constitution writes.

“As we said at the beginning of the season, our goal was to have progress this year, to move forward,” Schlenk said. “And we just felt like that wasn’t happening as quickly as we wanted it to. … We felt like for the organization, it was the best thing for us to do moving forward.”

Hawks owner Tony Ressler has admitted to pressing for the team’s big spending spree during 2020’s free agency period and badly wants to get back to the postseason. However, Schlenk said that he and his basketball operations staff made the decision to move on from Pierce, with Ressler’s approval.

“Certainly Tony signs off on all major moves we make on the basketball side or on the business side, as far as that goes, but this wasn’t a decision that Tony made,” Schlenk said, according to Spencer. “… I don’t think it’s any secret that Tony is very passionate and wants the organization to be successful. He’s willing to give us all the resources that we need to be able to do that. Up to this point in my tenure here, he’s been extremely supportive of any decision I feel like we needed to make, and this was the same situation here.”

Here’s more on the Hawks:

  • Nate McMillan will be the Hawks’ interim head coach and is the first candidate named by Chris Kirschner of The Athletic in his list of possible permanent coaching options for Atlanta. Schlenk was noncommittal on Monday when asked about the possibility of McMillan holding the job permanently, stating that the Hawks will cross that bridge when they get there, per Spencer.
  • Pierce’s firing raises some bigger questions about the Hawks’ decision-making, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic, who suggests the clock has begun ticking on Schlenk and the front office, especially if the team’s 2020 free agent additions don’t start providing more value soon. While injuries to Bogdan Bogdanovic, Kris Dunn, and De’Andre Hunter this season have been unlucky, the signings of Danilo Gallinari and Rajon Rondo look like “clear failures,” Hollinger contends.
  • Schlenk shared some good news during his Tuesday morning appearance on 92.9 The Game in Atlanta, announcing that Bogdanovic will play on Tuesday on a minutes restriction (Twitter link via Mike Conti). Bogdanovic has been out since January 9 due to a knee injury.
  • A pair of veteran NBA coaches – Rick Carlisle and Gregg Popovich – expressed disappointment in the Hawks’ decision to fire Pierce, as Dwain Price of Mavs.com and Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press relay.
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11 thoughts on “Hawks Notes: Pierce, McMillan, Schlenk, Bogdanovic

  1. Buckman

    Since 2000-2001 season (21 seasons), ATL has had a black coach for 12 seasons and a white coach for 9. Of the 6 coaches, they were split 3 and 3. All 3 white coaches were out after a losing season. Only 1 black coach (Pierce) was out after a losing season. One (Woodson) was replaced after going 53-29 by another black coach (Drew). Drew was replaced by a white coach (Bud) after going 44-38.

        • I give no fox

          I know…reading is hard, but comprehension is important. You wouldn’t want to look foolish when your snide little comment misses the mark…oh wait. Lulz

  2. The Hawks give money to outside players but don’t reward the ones who deserve it like John Collins. I side with Collins in The Who is a winner between him and Trae. Colins will show his Jimmy Butler when he gets to his new team. Dani and Brojo are fragile.

    • Sillivan

      Some people like others wives
      Hawks like Gallo and Bogdan, they don’t like Collins?

      Rockets really like Nets and Bucks future draft picks
      Rockets don’t like their own future draft picks

  3. Ironmonger835

    Who would’ve guessed splurging on a bunch of role players who play the same position as your young guys might backfire? lol

    • x%sure

      Thing is, in theory, Bogdan would look great in Milwaukee, Rondo in LA, and Gallo in Miami. It’s like Ressler interfered with the natural movement of things.

  4. formerlyz

    Ridiculous. They made multiple dumb signings. Kris Dunn and Solomon Hill were good moves. Bogdanovic and Gallinari never made sense. Dunn has been out the whole year, Rondo hasnt been that useful for them. Hunter has been out, Reddish has missed decent amount of time as well…they never looked like a for sure playoff team. I think I had them 11th before the season.

  5. Sillivan

    Hawks and Wolves GMs make the coaches fired

    If GMs are average, coaches won’t be fired

  6. GeneralZod

    I like Collins and Trae they got a sweet core there if they can build around it. Lot of negativity on Hawks but I love watching them play.

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