Friday , Jul , 08 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Trail Blazers introduce McMillan

Portland, OR (Sports Network) – The Portland Trail Blazers introduced Nate
McMillan as their new head coach on Thursday.

He replaces interim coach Kevin Pritchard, who took over for the fired Maurice
Cheeks during the middle of the season.

The 40-year-old McMillan joins the Trail Blazers after serving as Seattle’s
head coach since November 27, 2000. This past season McMillan guided the
Sonics to a 52-20 record, which included a Northwest Division championship.
Seattle advanced to the Western Conference semifinals before losing in six
games to the eventual NBA champion San Antonio Spurs.

However, despite the success, his four-year contract was up at season’s end
after the team did not re-sign him during the year.

In his four years with the club, he has compiled a regular-season record of
212-183, while going 8-8 in the postseason. McMillan’s departure comes one day
after the Sonics reportedly agreed to terms on a five-year, $85 million
contract extension with Ray Allen.

Under McMillan’s leadership, Seattle reached the playoffs on two occasions, as
it also appeared in the postseason in 2001-02. During that season, McMillan’s
first full campaign as the team’s head coach, the Sonics went 45-37 and earned
the seventh seed in the playoffs, where they lost to San Antonio in five

McMillan spent his entire 12-year playing career in the Emerald City. In 796
career games as a player, McMillan averaged 5.9 points, 6.1 assists and 4.0
rebounds per contest.