The Atlanta Hawks have decided to remove the interim tag from Nate McMillan's title and offer him a four-year deal as the team's head coach. Atlanta Hawks General Manager Travis Schlenk shared the news during a conference call on July 5.
"We're just drawing up the contract," Schlenk said.
"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."
McMillan joined the Atlanta Hawks' coaching staff at the beginning of the season after being let go as the Indiana Pacers head coach. Thirty-four games into the 2020-2021 NBA Regular Season, the Hawks had a 14-20 record and sat in 11th place in the Eastern Conference. As a result, the Hawks fired Lloyd Pierce and elevated McMillan to the position of interim head coach.
McMillan stepped in and achieved great success as the team's interim head coach. The Hawks finished the season on a 27-11 run and earned a playoff berth. In the first round, McMillan, Trae Young and the Hawks took down the New York Knicks in five games. From there, Atlanta upset the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers in seven games. Unfortunately, Atlanta's magical playoff run ended in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks.
While the Hawks did miss an opportunity to advance to the 2021 NBA Finals, the future is bright for the young Hawks team that is led by Young, John Collins and Cam Reddish, who are all under 25 years old. Having secured the head coaching job, McMillan is excited about what lies ahead.
"It's just a blessing. It really was a blessing. I really didn't look back on what had happened last season. My focus was on, once I got this opportunity, to come down and try to help first Coach Pierce, and then when the opportunity presented itself for me to coach this team, to try to make it better," he said after the team's season-ending loss on July 3.
"That was just the focus this entire season, trying to make it better here for this organization. It really was a blessing. I thank God for all the opportunities and the blessings that have been provided to me this year."