The Blazers last week picked up a one-year option on McMillan's contract, keeping him in Portland through the 2010-2011 season.
McMillan made it clear that his one-year-at-a-time stance is based purely on ethics, and is not a reflection of how he feels about Portland and the Blazers. In fact, he said he intends on following in the footsteps of one of his coaching idols, Utah's Jerry Sloan, who has been with the Jazz for 21 seasons.
"Some people may say, 'Well, is there somewhere else you want to go?' And I'm like no, this is where I want to be," McMillan said. "For me, having a one-year deal doesn't allow you to slip. I like that. For me, I look for ways to keep myself sharp, and that will certainly keep me sharp."
UPDATED (7:40PM): Press Release from the team
TRAIL BLAZERS EXERCISE OPTION ON HEAD COACH NATE MCMILLAN
McMillan to remain with team through 2010-11 season
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Trail Blazers exercised their option on Head Coach Nate McMillan, extending his contract through the 2010-11 season, it was announced today by General Manager Kevin Pritchard.
"I'm excited that the option year on my contract has been picked up," said McMillan. "We have a great team, first-class organization and the fan support has been incredible. I would also like to credit the coaching staff for their hard work, and we're all looking forward to working towards our goal of bringing a championship back to the city of Portland."
McMillan, 44, led the second youngest team in the NBA to the playoffs with a 54-28 record last season, which ranks as the sixth best mark in franchise history.
"Nate has proven himself one of the great coaches in the NBA," said Pritchard. "The manner in which he's developed and grown this young team is a testament to his hard work, intelligence and passion for the game. He's done an amazing job, and we're lucky to have him."
He becomes just the second coach in NBA history to improve a team by at least nine or more wins in three consecutive seasons, as Portland has increased its win total by 33 games since McMillan's first season in the Rose City.
With an all-time record of 360-363 (.498) over his nine-year coaching career with Portland and Seattle, McMillan stands as the third-youngest coach in NBA history to reach the 300 win mark.
-- Ben (firstname.lastname@example.org)