Nate McMillan Rumors
For the past several months, the expectation was that D’Antoni would be hired by the Indiana Pacers, who fired Nate McMillan on Aug. 26. Sources have said McMillan’s coaching style wore on the players. He’s a no-nonsense guy, capable of shaking players out of their comfort zones, and has strict rules.
Indiana is thought to feel that D’Antoni could turn shooting guard Victor Oladipo into James Harden 2.0, according to sources. Harden, as a Rockets shooting guard, won the 2017-18 league MVP award under D’Antoni. He’s also expected to be named a first-team All-NBA selection for the fourth straight season.
The Pacers are said to have serious interest in hiring D’Antoni to replace the suddenly ousted Nate McMillan, which would give a needed jolt to Oladipo and Myles Turner. But there’s no guarantee they get D’Antoni — even with his contract in Houston about to expire and pressure mounting on the Rockets’ coach with a Game 7 looming Wednesday night against Chris Paul and the Thunder.
J. Michael Falgoust: Pritchard on firing McMillan: “In any major move this organization makes ultimately I’m going to consult with Herb. … The buck stops with me. That was on me. It was my decision. I take full responsibility for that. … Put it on me.” #Pacers
J. Michael Falgoust: Pritchard: “Nate brought a lot of dignity. No one could ever question his hard work. I feel like I’m a better person working with him. … He’s someone I consider a friend and I hope to have a friend for a long time.” #Pacers
J. Michael Falgoust: Pritchard on what he wants to see in next coach: “A modern approach. Communication would probably be my top thing. Playing more of a modern game. You’ve got to look to the future. Look where the hockey puck is going, not so much where it is” #Pacers
The good news: McMillan gets to go home to North Carolina – finally – and not only see his wife (it’s been three months) but to meet his first grandchild, Micah, who was born July 1. He will not, however, be a head coach this coming season, even though he figures to be a candidate for several of the NBA’s job openings. “I’m going to take this year and just look at things,” he said. “A lot has changed, the league and the game have changed, so I’ll take this year and see what happens, but I won’t get back into it this season.”
The Pacers’ decision to fire Nate McMillan two weeks after agreeing to a semi-bogus extension with him did not exactly shock league insiders. There had been buzz about McMillan’s status — and Mike D’Antoni’s potential candidacy, reported last week by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski — all season.