clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Wojnarowski: Former Blazers Coach Nate McMillan Close To Joining Pacers As Assistant

Former Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan is reportedly close to joining the Indiana Pacers as an assistant coach under Frank Vogel.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.


Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports on Twitter that former Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan could soon join the Indiana Pacers as an assistant coach under Frank Vogel.

Nate McMillan is finalizing an agreement to become the top assistant coach with the Indiana Pacers, league sources tell Y! Sports.

Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star reported earlier this week that Vogel and McMillan met about the position, which became available when Pacers assistant Brian Shaw was hired to coach the Denver Nuggets.

Vogel met with former Sonics and TrailBlazers head coach Nate McMillan on Monday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse regarding the position, a source told The Star. The two also went to dinner that night at Mo's Steakhouse Downtown.


"We're going to look at a lot of different types of assistant coaches, but certainly I think it's important to have a former player or two on your bench to share some of the experiences that our guys are going through," Vogel said after six draft prospects worked out at the fieldhouse Tuesday. "That's going to be something we're looking for."

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.

So far 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 jobwith 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 | | Twitter