BLAZERS CONFIRM COACH NATE MCMILLAN FIRED; KALEB CANALES NAMED INTERIM COACH

Mar. 14, 2012; New York, NY, USA; Portland Trail Blazers head coach Nate McMillan on the sidelines during the first quarter against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Portland Trail Blazers have fired coach Nate McMillan.

Portland has fired coach Nate McMillan, league source tells Y! Sports.

Portland has promoted assistant Kaleb Canales to interim head coach, league source tells Y! Sports.

Kaleb Canales, who replaces McMillan, was a video guy in Portland from 2005-2009 before being promoted to assistant coach. He's 34 now.

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports...

Confirming report, the Trail Blazers have fired coach Nate McMillan.

Blazer officials were on the phone all day with owner Paul Allen and president Larry Miller, source says. Never once was coach addressed.

Some key members of organization learned of McMillan firing from media reports.

Chris Broussard of ESPN.com reports...

source confirms report that Portland fired Nate McMillan. Asst coach Kaleb Canales will take over in the interim.

Joe Freeman of The Oregonian reports...

Blazers team source confirms news: Nate McMillan has been fired and assistant Kaleb Canales named interim coach.

McMillan's career coaching record is 478-452 (.514). This was his seventh season in Portland. He departs with a 266-269 (.497) record with the Blazers.

McMillan also serves as an assistant coach for USA Basketball.

Update: The Blazers have issued the following press release on Thursday afternoon.

The Portland Trail Blazers have made the decision to part ways with Nate McMillan, it was announced today by Team President Larry Miller. McMillan will no longer serve as Portland's head coach. Assistant Coach Kaleb Canales has been named interim head coach.

"Clearly the season to this point has not gone the way we had hoped it would and after talking with Nate we decided it was best to part ways," said Miller. "I want to personally acknowledge and thank Nate for his many contributions to this franchise and wish him nothing but the best for the future."

In six-plus seasons with Portland from 2005-12, McMillan guided the Trail Blazers to a 266-269 (.497) mark. Portland's second-longest tenured head coach in team history, McMillan ranks third among all-time Trail Blazers head coaches with 266 wins, trailing only Jack Ramsay and Rick Adelman.

McMillan led the Trail Blazers to the postseason in each of the last three seasons (2009-11), marking Portland's first run of three consecutive playoff appearances since 2001-03. The Trail Blazers shared the Northwest Division crown with Denver in 2008-09 after posting a 54-28 record, McMillan's best as a coach.

After taking over as Trail Blazers head coach in 2005, McMillan became just the second coach in NBA history to improve a team by nine wins or more in three straight seasons when Portland increased its win total by 33 games between 2005-06 and 2008-09.

McMillan is one of only two Portland coaches to be named Western Conference Coach of the Month three times (Adelman). He earned the honor in December 2007, April 2009 and April 2011.

Blazers owner Paul Allen tweets..

Some tough trades today & letting Nate go but had to face reality of how the season was going. Now Portland Trail Blazers focusing on future.

I want to thank Nate for his years of service to the team and Portland and its fans.

Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge tweets...

Hard to see coach Nate go he was my coach since day one and I've grown a lot under his coaching. He is truly a hard working coach.

Former Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard tweets...

Super sad day for my friend Nate McMillan. He is a good coach and a better person. Enjoyed the good and the tough times with him!

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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