When Larry Bird announced 11 days ago that he wasn’t renewing Frank Vogel’s contract as coach of the Indiana Pacers, one of his chief criticisms of Vogel was that he didn’t run a fast-paced offense. That makes Bird’s hire of Nate McMillan, who has been an assistant in Indiana for three seasons, a little confusing.
The Pacers made McMillan’s promotion official on Monday afternoon, with this statement from Bird:
“I truly believe Nate is the right coach for us at this time,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “When I heard he was interested, I got in touch with him, met with him and in our conversation I came away with all the confidence in the world in Nate to lead our franchise to where we want to go. His experience as a player, head coach and assistant coach in the NBA are valuable assets for us.”
“I want to thank Larry, Herb Simon and the Pacers for this opportunity, which is a great opportunity,” said McMillan. “I’ve been around this franchise three years and understand what the expectations are and look forward to working hard to try to meet them. We have a good team and good base to build from. I’m very anxious to get started.”