Hawks Coach Lloyd Pierce Doesn’t Feel Any ‘Pressure Or Stress’ About Possibly Getting Fired

The Hawks are having a disappointing season, particularly after team governor Tony Ressler passed down a mandate to the team to make the playoffs after spending big this offseason. As a result, head coach Lloyd Pierce’s seat has gotten quite hot, with the Hawks below .500 and scuffling to a 4-9 record in February.

Pierce gave an interview to Jeff Schultz of The Athletic effectively clearing the air on his feelings about the status of his job, the Hawks’ season overall, and his relationship with general manager Travis Schlenk. The way Pierce put it, he treated every day of being as a head coach as a day on the hot seat, and has learned to have peace of mind about the temperamental nature of NBA decision-makers.

“It’s always going to fall on me,” Lloyd told Schultz. “That’s part of sports. I’m glad it falls on me because it won’t shake me one bit.”

Still, because he has become so close with Schlenk, the dynamic around the fact that Schlenk may soon have to fire him doesn’t seem to phase the Hawks coach, who recognizes how the business works and is simply going to keep trying to do what he can until he’s told the job is no longer his.

“Travis is going to fire me one day,” Pierce said matter of factly. “And do you know what I’m going to say? The guy gave me a great opportunity in life. Do you think I’m going to be pissed? He’s damn near my best friend. I’m eternally thankful for his belief in me, and ultimately the decisions he has to make are always going to be about the organization, but I’m eternally grateful for the belief and the confidence that he has had in me. That’s the beauty of this. That’s why there’s no pressure or stress. I have a job to fulfill. I have to hold all the responsibilities and standards towards me, and I understand that. That’s the job.”

After early reports of tensions between star players Trae Young and John Collins, things have not gotten any steadier in Atlanta. The team keeps losing, has not been healthy all year, and may be lining things up to make the affable Pierce the fall guy soon.