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McMillan Out, Prunty In


Today, February 21st 2023 Nate McMillan has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the Atlanta Hawks. Fans from all over are excited to see this welcomed change finally occur. According to ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski, Joe Prunty is going to be stepping in. 

McMillan’s Dance with Mediocrity

The Atlanta Hawks are currently sitting 8th place in the east with a 29-30 record. All year long they’ve been dancing around a .500 record and have shown nothing but mediocrity. In late December, early January, Twitter was a dark place for McMillan after dropping games Atlanta had no business losing, due to poor rotations and lack of competency for the game of basketball. 


McMillan has locked in 99 wins and 80 losses in his three seasons with the Atlanta Hawks. The third-year coach started his career with a massive streak when he stepped up to replace Lloyd Pierce. McMillan was carried to the Eastern Conference Finals by a streaking Trae Young and John Collins in his first season. After losing to the Milwaukee Bucks, who ended up winning the championship, McMillan was offered a full-time contract as it looked like he had brought out the full potential of the squad. 

What happened to McMillan’s Hot Start?

In the following year, the inferiority came crashing back as the Hawks were lucky enough to make it into the play-in game where they eventually lost. The Hawks have never been questioned as to lack of skill. With names like All-Star Trae Young, Deandre Hunter, and Bogdan Bogdanovic, Atlanta has nothing but potential and the ability to be lethal from behind anyone’s three-point line. 

The roster will see this as a positive. Oddly enough, McMillan had already been involved in feuds with Trae in the first place. In December, Young missed a game due to a disagreement with Coach McMillan. Young was receiving treatment on his shoulder, which happened to be during a shootaround practice. McMillan took offense to this and presented Trae with the option of either playing off the bench or not showing up.

Trae Young is the star of this franchise and it’s laughable that missing shootaround to receive treatment would cause him to miss a starting spot and/or minutes. Following McMillan’s departure, the team can now get back to being focused on bringing a championship back to ATL.

Who Will Replace Him?

Joe Prunty assuming interim head coach

Jan 16, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Milwaukee Bucks interim head coach Joe Prunty looks on during the second half against the Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena. The Bucks defeated the Hornets 105-92. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Prunty has been name interim head coach on behalf of McMillan. Unlike McMillan, Prunty allows the team to play their brand of basketball. This is the style that works for this team. Trae is a court general that doesn’t play as well when someone tries to squeeze him into their style. 

Prunty served as the head coach for the Milwaukee Bucks in an interim position during the 2018 season. As an assistant, Prunty has won three NBA titles. It is not certain what direction the Hawks will go in regards to the future. However, throughout the history of the league, when a coach that has been under Greg Popovich gets a shot they rarely miss.  

Right now, there are no reports of Prunty taking the head coach position full-time. There are continual reports of who the next head coach will be

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