HoopsHype Nate McMillan rumors

June 11, 2014 Updates
May 20, 2014 Updates

If you were Mitch or Jim or the person responsible for hiring the next head coach of the Lakers, who would that be? James Worthy: "It’s funny, with so many players coming out of high school and one year of college, you're starting to see teams wanting college coaches and stuff like that, but right off the top of my head: I played with Byron Scott, so I know what he brings to the table. I know that he holds people accountable and he’s a defensive kind of genius when it comes to that. I like Nate McMillan. Nate McMillan spent some time with Coach K [Mike Krzyzewski] in USA/international basketball. I think he knows all the players that were on the team. He has a good rapport. But, I got to go with my good friend Byron Scott, if it was up to me." ESPN.com

May 19, 2014 Updates
January 12, 2014 Updates
January 2, 2014 Updates

“I don’t think (the process) is ever complete with any staff,” Frank Vogel, who’s in his third full season as Pacers head coach, said recently. “I think you’re always evolving because your system is always evolving. I think it’s definitely where I want it to be. I think these guys have really picked up everything we’re doing on both ends of the court, and relationships have been solid, in terms of what Popeye and Nate have been able to do in working with these guys individually, counseling these guys individually on the court and in individual film sessions. I think that’s going as good as can be asked.” Pacers.com

“I think Nate and Popeye have both spent a lot of time with Lance [Stephenson],” Vogel noted specifically. “Nate has also spent a lot of time with Paul George. Both of those guys are very experienced and have come in and been sharp right from the start. They’re doing great jobs, as well as Dan Burke, obviously. The staff cohesion is as good as it’s been in the last couple of years.” Pacers.com

December 7, 2013 Updates

"You always wonder what it's going to be like, how people are going to receive you. When things happened here, I think everybody understood that it was time for change, including me. It wasn't any bitter feelings toward the organization and I don't think they really felt that way towards me (either)," McMillan said. "(But) you just don't know. You're kind of sweating all day… When you first walk out, you're like, 'what's going to happen?' Especially behind the visitor's bench – what they do say to opposing coaches and players? I didn't hear anything. Everything was good. When I walked into halftime, I heard a few people: 'Thank you, Nate!' and 'Coach Mac!' It's still Coach Mac." Indianapolis Star

Though there has been much turnover in the organization since McMillan coached in Portland, he spoke about how all the old faces stopped by to see him. Even a new face made a visit. Near the end of our conversation, Portland's second-year point guard Damian Lillard walked up to greet McMillan. "Hey," McMillan said, grabbing Lillard's hand. "Keep doing what you're doing. You've done some special things here." Lillard: "'Preciate it!" McMillan: "All the best. (Then, the two bro hugged) "Stay healthy," McMillan said, finishing up. Indianapolis Star

December 2, 2013 Updates

“Really, I felt like Nicolas was going to be a good player and a talented player. Again, he was drafted with that in mind, with being a part of the future. Probably the one thing when I look back on my time in Portland that I regret was the decision to take Nicolas out of that lineup and starting Gerald Wallace,” McMillan admitted. “That was something that I was battling with the time I was there. CSNNW.com

“I knew that Nic was going to be the future. I knew Wesley [Matthews] was going to be the future. Those were the two best wings for us. But bringing in a veteran such as Gerald Wallace and trying to convince him to come off the bench and he did for about a week or two. He felt like he needed to be in the starting lineup. I went against what I really believed was right which was Nicolas and Wesley playing with LaMarcus because they defended and they shot the ball at the two and three positions. But we gave him as much as I felt like he could handle at the time.” CSNNW.com

How do you feel about your overall tenure in Portland?: “We had a plan that was going well. When I first spoke to Mr. Allen and he talked about his plan when he offered me the position to come to Portland, the plan was in place and it was working. We had some unfortunate situations where we just had some injuries that we just could not overcome. To have everything really going according to plan, we had talked about building through the draft, that we were going to be patient. We were lucky enough that some guys did some good things. Kevin Pritchard and our scouts did a good job of drafting. But when you lose a Brandon Roy and Greg Oden in the same year, it’s going to be hard for anybody to survive. You take Kobe Bryant and Paul Gasol from the Lakers. You take LeBron James and Dwyane Wade off Miami, it’s going to be hard for those organizations to survive. We had that happen in our lockout year. I got caught in a storm.” CSNNW.com

“When this opportunity was brought to my attention, I never imagined that I would be working in Indiana with Frank,” McMillan said. “A lot of what they do, I believe in. They are a team that believes that defense is the No. 1 priority and team chemistry. They’ve built a solid foundation and I thought it was a good fit. Me and Frank share the same agent so it was a natural fit.” CSNNW.com

November 30, 2013 Updates

The Trail Blazers were floundering. Lopsided losses were becoming the norm. A promising season was teetering toward a free-fall. Coach Nate McMillan, the man who helped usher Portland past the Jail Blazers era and became the bedrock of a turbulent organization, had lost his team. Sensing the collapse and fearing the worst, McMillan asked then-President Larry Miller for a meeting to discuss the future. “I talked with Larry about where I felt the organization was at and what I thought they needed to do,” McMillan says. “They needed to look at rebuilding before that thing crumbled. And they needed to look at everything, including the head coaching position. With some guys, I knew it wasn’t part of their plan to be there. We had two of our core players — Brandon (Roy) and Greg (Oden) — basically retire. So I told him that he needed to get something for the guys we had, he needed to look at redoing this whole thing before it crumbles." Oregonian

No, his lone regret came one season prior, when the Blazers acquired Wallace in a trade with Charlotte. When Wallace first joined the Blazers, McMillan brought him off the bench because he liked his presence in the second unit and didn’t want to stunt the growth of Batum. But behind the scenes, Wallace sulked, and eventually McMillan relented and shifted Batum to the second unit. “As I look back on it now, if I would have done anything different, I would have kept Nic in the starting lineup,” McMillan says. “Wallace wanted to go in the lineup, and I ended up trying to make that work. But I felt like Nic and Wesley (Matthews) were the right wings for us — and I think right now it’s showing that they’re the right wings. If I had that, to do it over again, I wouldn’t have done that. Nic was the future.” Oregonian

But what about the end? When the lopsided losses mounted? When his team quit on him? “There wasn’t anything I could do,” McMillan says. “Sometimes as a coach you get caught in the perfect storm and you’ve just got to ride it out and see where you land. And that was the perfect storm. It was a lockout season. I had lost Brandon and Greg and we had some guys who were new to the team and I didn’t really know them. I think there were guys that had other agendas and their plan wasn’t to be there long-term. I was just caught in that storm and, again, I had to ride it out.” Oregonian

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