Pacers president Larry Bird announced recently that the team would not be renewing the contract of then-head coach Frank Vogel. After scouring the market for a week or so, the organization announced that they were finalizing an agreement to promote assistant coach Nate McMillan to head coach, as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.
Mike D’Antoni, Jeff Hornacek, Randy Wittman, Brian Shaw, and Mark Jackson were other guys Indiana considered, but decided to go with McMillan after interviewing him last week.
McMillan, 51, spent 12 years with the Seattle SuperSonics before transitioning to coaching at the start of the 1999 season. He spent five seasons in Seattle, seven years with the Portland Trailblazers, and amassed a record of 478-452, including three seasons with wins totaling 52, 54, and 50. He was hired by Indiana as an associate head coach in 2013.
The front office was very clear about how they were unable to score with Vogel at the helm and wanted someone who had more of on offense focus; in comes McMillan. In three of his first four seasons with the Sonics, he led three teams that were top-5 in point per 100 possessions. Something that must’ve made Bird a very happy camper.
Although his offenses have been very efficient, the defenses that he’s coached have been rather lax; only one time has McMillan cracked the top-10 in defensive rating. Almost the polar opposite of Vogel’s defense-first philosophy.