Former Hawks head coach to join JJ Redick’s Lakers staff

Nate McMillan

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, former Hawks head coach Nate McMillan is joining JJ Redick‘s Lakers staff.

McMillan was with the Hawks under Lloyd Pierce then took over in the middle of the 2020-2021 season when Pierce was fired. As the interim, McMillan helped the Hawks to their deepest postseason run in about a decade, losing to the Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Hawks underachieved the following season, prompting ownership to force a blockbuster trade to acquire Dejounte Murray in the offseason. Once again, the club didn’t click, which led to another in-season coaching change.

McMillan’s timely defensive presence, along with Bogdan Bogdanovic and Clint Capela playing their best ball, led the Hawks to the Eastern Conference Finals. However, he was never as good as that run led many Hawks fans, including ownership, to believe. Even still, it wasn’t the Hawks that fired him. Reports surfaced quickly after that it was McMillan who requested out, which followed Travis Schlenk stepping down from GM duties. It painted the franchise in a bad light.

McMillan took a year off to reportedly spend time with family after he was “fired” by the Hawks in 2023 and is back on the biggest stage in Los Angeles. The Lakers have a confusing roster in a stacked Western Conference with sky-high expectations.

That’s a ton of experience on Redick’s staff, but I wouldn’t be so sure that it will translate to wins.

Photographer: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

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