Trail Blazers fire coach Nate McMillan
No team has looked worse in the last two weeks — including a 42-point loss to the Knicks on national television Wednesday — and fallen apart more from the start of the season than the Portland Trail Blazers.
Thursday afternoon coach Nate McMillan paid the price — Portland has fired McMillan according to multiple media reports, with the story broken by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.
McMillan was considered on the hot seat. This is a team that was looking surprisingly good early in the season running the ball, but as the season went on they returned more to McMillan’s grind-it-out style. And they struggled. In the last two days Portland had been blown out by Indiana and the Knicks and had been in a free-fall that had taken them out of the playoffs in the West.
Still, this firing was handled in a very Portland, very owner Paul Allen way, reports Ken Berger at CBSSports.com. All day throughout the run-up to the trade deadline the front office staff was on the phone with Allen and team president Larry Miller, but the coaching situation was never mentioned. Some of the staff learned of the firing through the media.
Portland spent the trade deadline day getting rid of salary and setting themselves up for a rebuild on the fly around LaMarcus Aldridge. Clearly ownership wanted someone else to coach that team.
Assistant Kaleb Canales will take over in the interim.