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Shortly after Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Friday that Hawks head coach Nate McMillan had “strongly thought of” the potential for resigning from his place, McMillan met with reporters for a pregame press convention forward of the group’s matchup with the Lakers. Predictably, the primary query he obtained centered on Charania’s report.
“I learn that article briefly,” McMillan responded (Twitter video link through Brad Rowland). “I’ve by no means spoken to that reporter earlier than. I believe the final two weeks, he’s written a pair articles with some sources in our group which might be making some feedback about me and a few issues that I’m saying and doing.”
Earlier in December, Charania additionally obtained a byline (together with Sam Amick) on a narrative a couple of verbal confrontation between McMillan and star Trae Younger, which is presumably the opposite report McMillan was referring to.
“Look, on the finish of the yr, I’ll do as I’ll all the time achieved,” McMillan continued. “On the finish of the season, I discuss with my household and see if I nonetheless have that flame, that fireside to proceed subsequent season. However that’s the top of the season. All of us take into consideration retiring. However that’s on the finish of the season.
“We’re going to maneuver on previous that, that story. Now we have a (playoff) race to arrange for. We’re attempting to get our guys wholesome and make one other run on the playoffs. However the issues that have been reported — look, I’m right here to educate this group and I’ve talked to (group proprietor) Tony (Ressler) many occasions. Our aim is to make the playoffs and that’s what we’re working in the direction of.
After concluding his assertion, McMillan waited a beat and jokingly added, “So we’ve squashed that, proper?”
Whereas it feels like McMillan doesn’t intend to step down from his place anytime quickly, his feedback in all probability gained’t quell hypothesis about his long-term future in Atlanta. Charania wrote that McMillan “seems to be close to the top of his tenure with the Hawks after the season,” suggesting that both the pinnacle coach or the group (or each) could wish to transfer on within the spring. That also feels like a really actual risk.
In fact, profitable solves loads of issues, so if McMillan can replicate his second-half success from the final two seasons, maybe his future will look a complete lot completely different a couple of months from now. McMillan, who took over for Lloyd Pierce halfway by the 2020/21 marketing campaign, led the group to a 27-11 report and two playoff sequence wins that yr. In ’21/22, following a 17-25 begin, Atlanta went 26-14 the remainder of the way in which and gained a pair of play-in video games to safe a postseason berth.
This season, following a splashy summer time commerce for Dejounte Murray, the Hawks are as soon as once more off to a gradual begin. The membership has misplaced three video games in a row and 9 of its final 13 to drop its total report to 17-19. Atlanta holds the No. 9 seed within the East and is just forward of the No. 11 Raptors by a single sport.