The Atlanta Hawks are using the All-Star break to shake things up on their coaching staff. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Atlanta will part ways with head coach Nate McMillan amid a year where the team has found itself closer to falling out of the play-in race than fighting for a spot among the Eastern Conference’s elite.
The Atlanta Hawks dismissed coach Nate McMillan, sources tell ESPN. pic.twitter.com/Jjh3qlCnCX
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 21, 2023
McMillan went 99-80 in his tenure with the Hawks, which spanned parts of three seasons after he took over when Lloyd Pierce was fired early in the 2020-21 season. The high point of McMillan’s time as head coach was the Hawks stunning run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021, as he guided them past the Knicks and Sixers before losing to the eventual champion Bucks in six games. Since then, the Hawks have failed to build on that success, and after exhausting their future assets this offseason to land Dejounte Murray, the 29-30 record 59 games into the season was enough to get McMillan fired.
Wojnarowski reports that Joe Prunty is expected to take over as the interim head coach, and has his work cut out for him. There have been rumblings of discontent in Atlanta for some time — a report in December indicated that McMillan was considering resigning, and he reportedly bumped heads with Trae Young at one point this year. Still, there is talent on the roster when healthy and the expectations in Atlanta are clear, as they’ll hope another fired coach bump is on the way as it was in 2021.