Pacers Hire Former Blazers Coach Nate McMillan As Associate Head Coach

Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

The Indiana Pacers have hired former Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan as their associate head coach.

The Indiana Pacers officially announced Monday the hiring of former Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan as their associate head coach under coach Frank Vogel.

The Indiana Pacers announced Monday that Nate McMillan has been signed as an associate head coach. Per club policy, no terms of the contract are released. McMillan replaces Brian Shaw, who became head coach at Denver.

McMillan comes to the Pacers with a vast basketball background as a player and as a coach. After playing collegiately at North Carolina State, McMillan was drafted by Seattle (30th overall) in the 1986 NBA Draft. He played his entire 12-year career with the Sonics, had his number (10) retired and became their coach in 2000 and remained in Seattle until after the 2005 season. He then went to Portland that year and coached the Trail Blazers until he was let go in March, 2012. McMillan also served as an assistant coach for the U.S. National Team in the 2006 FIBA World Championships, the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics.

"We are extremely thrilled to have Nate join our staff," said Pacers head coach Frank Vogel. "To get someone with his experience as a player and a coach will be extremely valuable to our players, to our staff and to our franchise."

"To be able to join a respected franchise like this is a great opportunity," said McMillan. "It's obvious the potential this team has to compete for a championship and to come on board at a time like this is great timing for me. I really look forward to working with this coaching staff and the players. I have heard nothing but good things about everyone involved and that made this a very easy decision to make."

The planned hiring was first reported back on Thursday.

Former Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard is GM of the Pacers.

The Blazers fired McMillan in March 2012, replacing him with interim coach Kaleb Canales before hiring current coach Terry Stotts in August 2012. McMillan hasn't coached in the NBA since. He did serve as an assistant coach under Duke's Mike Krzyzewski with USA Basketball but it was announced back in May that he would not return.

Earlier this offseason, McMillan interviewed for head coaching positions with the Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks, but those jobs went to Larry Drew, Maurice Cheeks and Mike Budenholzer, respectively.

Last summer, McMillan interviewed for the Charlotte Bobcats' job that eventually went to Mike Dunlap, who has since been fired. McMillan interviewed with the Orlando Magic and was reportedly a "top choice" but Jacque Vaughn took over for the fired Stan Van Gundy instead. In November, McMillan was linked to a possible assistant coach's job with the Lakers under D'Antoni, following Mike Brown's dismissal, but that did not materialize. He was linked as a possible candidate to replace the fired Avery Johnson with the Brooklyn Nets, but interim coach P.J. Carlesimo coached out the season before getting the ax.

McMillan holds a career coaching record of 478-452 (.514) over 12 seasons with the Seattle SuperSonics and the Blazers. McMillan posted a 266-269 (.497) record in seven seasons with the Blazers. Portland advanced to the playoffs in 2009, 2010 and 2011 but was eliminated in the first round in all three seasons.

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

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