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FutureStarrAtlanta Hawks Fire Coach Nate McMillan
On Tuesday night, General Manager Landry Fields officially announced the departure of Coach Nate McMillan after his team's success leading them to the 2021 Eastern Conference finals was not replicated.
Assistant Joe Prunty will serve as interim coach while the Hawks conduct a search for a full-time coach, with former Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder, Bucks assistant Charles Lee and Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson expected to be among those considered.
If you've been following the news lately, then you know former Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder has announced his resignation. After eight seasons with the team, he's taking a break to focus on his health and family. Though an official reason wasn't given during a press conference last week, Snyder did indicate it was time to move forward.
He expressed his pride in what the Jazz organization had accomplished over eight seasons, but that it's time to move forward and find someone new who can lead them moving forward. That sentiment was also shared by Jazz owner Ryan Smith and CEO Danny Ainge at Monday's news conference.
In other coaching news, the Atlanta Hawks have released Nate McMillan after three seasons with the team. During his tenure with Atlanta, McMillan compiled a 99-80 record and led them to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021 as a replacement for then-fired Lloyd Pierce.
McMillan, 58 years old, led the Hawks to the playoffs each of his three seasons as head coach. This year they have an 8-33 record and sit eighth in the Eastern Conference.
Regarding his future plans, he expressed that he hopes to return to coaching in the NBA "as soon as an opportunity presents itself." Currently, he's taking a self-imposed coaching hiatus until such time that he can find a position that interests him.
He's uncertain which coaching career he'll pursue when he returns, but he has extensive experience in the NBA, Europe and even the NBA Development League. He coached at San Antonio Spurs-owned/operated Austin Toros in the NBA Development League from 2007-10 and served as associate head coach at CSKA Moscow from 2012-13 where he guided them to 2013 Euroleague Final Four success.
Once the Jazz's season ended, reports surfaced that Ham was regularly communicating with Snyder. The two have a history together that dates back to their days as Lakers coaching staff members in 2011-12.
Ham's job is on the line, so he turns to his former boss for advice and support. This decision demonstrates Ham's understanding of coaching in Los Angeles and shows he's prepared.
It's noteworthy that he would take money from the Jazz to help Ham out pro bono. Given that he wasn't chosen for the Lakers job this summer, it appears he still wants to give back by helping other teams out.
It will be exciting to see what develops over the coming months if this relationship between Ham and Sargent continues. If he can consistently work together, it could be an indication that Sargent is ready to return to coaching in the NBA.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Atlanta Hawks have fired coach Nate McMillan following their 29-30 start to the season. A coaching search is underway and could include former Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder, Milwaukee Bucks assistant Charles Lee and Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson.
McMillan's Hawks were his fourth head-coaching job in the NBA, having led Seattle Supersonics, Portland Trail Blazers and Indiana Pacers to playoff appearances. With a 760-668 record over 19 seasons as a coach and 99-80 in three years at Atlanta after Lloyd Pierce was dismissed, McMillan earned himself an impressive 99-80 record during this interim tenure.
He previously spent time coaching with the Brooklyn Nets, working alongside Rick Adelman and other coaches before being recruited two seasons ago by head coach Mike Budenholzer to be his assistant. While in Brooklyn, Atkinson had the unique opportunity to absorb ideas and lessons from some of basketball's greatest coaches such as Tony D'Antoni, Budenholzer and Lue.
It's remarkable to consider the journey Atkinson has taken in his career. He began as a youth coach and gradually worked his way up, ultimately joining two teams that made the playoffs five of his eight years in the league and being privy to some of NBA's finest moments.
Atkinson's move to the Warriors offers him another chance to learn from one of basketball's great coaches, Steve Kerr. He has known Kerr since he was a young assistant with the Knicks, and it has become evident how passionate this man truly cares about his players.
Atkinson is not only an expert at basketball psychology, but he's also an impressive coach on the court - which is one of the reasons he was sought-out for this position in the first place. During his time with the Hornets, Atkinson helped shape LaMelo Ball into an elite guard and also Miles Bridges into a regular on SportsCenter.
Atkinson ultimately chose to remain with the Warriors instead of seeking out the head coaching job in Charlotte, and this decision comes as a huge blow for the Hornets who had been looking forward to interviewing Atkinson next week. It comes as an absolute shock that he has chosen not to stay.
The Hornets had hoped Atkinson would sign a contract and join their staff this summer, and it appears they plan to start assembling a coaching staff this week. Atkinson had already reached out to all assistant coaches on the team and is expected to meet with each of them next week when he arrives in Charlotte ahead of the draft.
Many were taken aback by Atkinson's decision to leave Golden State for the Hornets, yet it's understandable. Throughout his career, Atkinson has experienced both successes and setbacks; now it appears he is eager to take on a new challenge as head coach of an NBA team capable of competing for titles.
On Tuesday morning, news broke that the Atlanta Hawks had fired head coach Nate McMillan after a string of disappointing performances this season. To fill this vacant coaching position, they plan to interview former Utah and Golden State head coach Quin Snyder, Milwaukee assistant coach Kenny Atkinson and current Philadelphia Eagles coach Charles Lee.
Charles Lee served as a British officer in George Washington's Continental Army and was widely considered to be one of the finest officers to fight during the American Revolution. Unfortunately, after being removed from service following a court-martial, he returned home to western Virginia.
Lee had a Jekyll-Hyde personality, with strong convictions and feelings of justice and pride; however, his temper often got the better of him. One major complaint Lee had against Washington for his role as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army was his resentment towards Washington for it.
Lee was an accomplished and highly-regarded military officer despite his dislike of him. He served in several important roles during the early years of the conflict and was widely considered as the best field commander in the Continental Army.
After the war, he worked as an attorney. President Washington appointed him Attorney General in 1795, and he would go on to serve as circuit court judge and open his own law practice. During these times he also defended Associate Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase during his impeachment trial and former Vice President Aaron Burr when tried for treason in Richmond.
He was an accomplished writer, publishing numerous works. His essays and letters were considered major contributions to the American independence movement, with particular recognition for his defense of Marbury vs Madison in 1803.
Lee enjoyed tremendous respect among military officers throughout the colonies for his military acumen and guidance. His expertise was sought out on many frontlines, such as the siege lines outside Boston and Newport Rhode Island's defense.
Lee's disdain for Washington as Commander-in-Chief was one of the primary factors in his withdrawal from the Continental Army in 1778. After being exchanged for a prisoner, Lee complained to Congress about promotions given others in his chain of command; and in June 1778 at Monmouth Battlefield, he engaged Washington directly on the battlefield.
Lee's conflict with Washington would prove to be a pivotal moment in his life. Though criticised for his decisions at Monmouth, it is evident that he was an inspiring leader and adept strategist, capable of turning adversity into victory for his nation.
His capture and court-martial have stained his reputation. Yet when you delve deeper into his history, you find he is an incredibly complex and brilliant individual who should not be ignored when studying the American Revolution.