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Nate McMillan Hired as Pacers Head Coach

Former Trail Blazers lead now faces a new challenge in Indiana.

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

This happened yesterday, but in case you missed it in all the hubbub of the Terry Stotts contract extension, former Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan has been named head coach of the Indiana Pacers.

For the occasion McMillan offered words that will sound familiar to Blazers fans from that era:

"We will respect the game," McMillan said during a news conference. "What I mean by respect the game is that you mentally and physically have to prepare yourself to go out and play hard every single night."

Indiana exec Larry Bird even referenced Portland in his post-hire interview:

"I like what he did in Portland, I like the fact that he's old-school, I like structure," said Bird, the Pacers' president of basketball operations. "I'm not saying Frank didn't have those things, but I've always admired Nate from afar and that's why it didn't take me long to decide to bring him in here."

McMillan guided the Blazers to a 266-269 record over 7 seasons with 3 playoff appearances leading to a 6-12 post=season record. He also spent 5 years at the helm for the Seattle SuperSonics. His overall record as a head coach stands at 478-452. McMillan spent the last two seasons on Indiana's bench as an assistant under former coach Frank Vogel.