Nate McMillan

Nate McMillan

McMillan visiting the Oregon National Guard
Indiana Pacers
Position Head coach
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1964-08-03) August 3, 1964
Raleigh, North Carolina
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight 195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High school William G. Enloe
(Raleigh, North Carolina)
NBA draft 1986 / Round: 2 / Pick: 30th overall
Selected by the Seattle SuperSonics
Playing career 1986–1998
Position Point guard / Shooting guard
Number 10
Coaching career 2000–present
Career history
As player:
19861998 Seattle SuperSonics
As coach:
19992000 Seattle SuperSonics (assistant)
20002005 Seattle SuperSonics
20052012 Portland Trail Blazers
20132016 Indiana Pacers (assistant)
2016–present Indiana Pacers
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points 4,733 (5.9 ppg)
Assists 4,893 (6.1 apg)
Steals 1,544 (1.9 spg)
Stats at

Nathaniel "Nate" McMillan (born August 3, 1964) is an American basketball coach and former player who is currently the head coach for the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He coached the Seattle SuperSonics from 2000 to 2005, and the Portland Trail Blazers from 2005 to 2012.

Early life and college career

McMillan grew up in the heart of North Carolina's basketball country and attended Raleigh's William G. Enloe High School, where he went unnoticed by major college scouts. After a brief basketball career at Chowan College in Murfreesboro, North Carolina,[1] he returned to Raleigh to play for Jim Valvano at North Carolina State, before entering the NBA. McMillan helped lead NC State to a first place tie in the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season in 1985, and the Elite Eight in both the 1985 and 1986 NCAA Championship Tournaments.

NBA career

McMillan was drafted by the Sonics with the 30th pick in the 1986 draft. He would spend his entire NBA career in Seattle. During his 12-year playing career, McMillan put up career averages of 5.9 points, 6.1 assists and 1.9 steals. He still shares (with Ernie DiGregorio) the NBA rookie record for assists in a single game with 25. McMillan played as the starting point guard position for the Sonics for most of his career.[2] McMillan was known for his superb defense, leading the NBA in steals per game for the 1993–94 season and being named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team for the 1993–94 and 1994–95 seasons. McMillan was also known for his balanced play, which led to four career triple-doubles.

In the 1995–96 season, McMillan helped the Sonics reach the NBA Finals against the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls. McMillan's Sonics were the only team to beat the Bulls three times that season (once in the regular season and twice in the playoffs).[3]

Known as "Mr. Sonic" for his 19 years of service to the team, his No. 10 jersey was retired by the Seattle SuperSonics. He was also known to be one third of the "Big Mac" team of the Seattle SuperSonics in the late 80's and early 90's, the others being Xavier McDaniel and Derrick McKey.

Coaching career

Seattle SuperSonics

After retiring in 1998, McMillan stayed with the Seattle franchise, earning a place as an assistant coach. He held this role until 2000, when he was named interim coach of the Sonics. Although the team missed the playoffs during his first year, he earned a winning record of 38–29 as interim head coach. He was hired as head coach for the 2001–02 campaign and led the club to the playoffs.[4]

McMillan's Sonics had mediocre records the next two years, going 40–42 and 37–45. In the 2004–05 season, McMillan led the team to 52–30 record in the regular season.[4] The team advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals, where they lost to the San Antonio Spurs.[5]

Portland Trail Blazers

After 19 years with the Seattle organization, McMillan left Seattle on July 6, 2005, to become the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers.[6] He took over a team riddled with cap problems and off-the-court drama, but steadily calmed the waters in Portland. McMillan's hard-nosed coaching style earned him the nickname "sarge."[3] McMillan coached the Blazers until 2012.[7]


McMillan was an assistant coach under Mike Krzyzewski for the US national team in the 2006 FIBA World Championship and in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, winning bronze and gold medals, respectively.[8] He is also a member of the National Junior College Basketball Hall of Fame, due to his All-American performance at Chowan.

On December 5, 2009, McMillan ruptured his right Achilles tendon while scrimmaging with the Trail Blazers during practice.[9] McMillan coached much of the season in a protective boot after surgery and led the team to 50 wins in spite of a historic number of injuries to his key players.

On March 15, 2012, McMillan was fired as the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers.[10]

McMillan again served as an assistant coach under Mike Krzyzewski for the US national team during the 2012 London Summer Olympics.

Indiana Pacers

On July 1, 2013, McMillan was hired by the Indiana Pacers as an assistant coach for the 2013–14 season.[11] He replaced Brian Shaw, who accepted the head coaching position with the Denver Nuggets.[12] In May 2016, after former head coach Frank Vogel's contract was not extended, McMillan was promoted to replace Vogel as the Pacers' coach.[13]

Head coaching record

Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win-loss %
Post season PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win-loss %
Team Year G W L WL% Finish PG PW PL PWL% Result
Seattle 2000–01 673829.5675th in Pacific Missed Playoffs
Seattle 2001–02 824537.5494th in Pacific523.400 Lost in First Round
Seattle 2002–03 824042.4885th in Pacific Missed Playoffs
Seattle 2003–04 823745.4515th in Pacific Missed Playoffs
Seattle 2004–05 825230.6341st in Northwest1165.545 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
Portland 2005–06 822161.2565th in Northwest Missed Playoffs
Portland 2006–07 823250.3903rd in Northwest Missed Playoffs
Portland 2007–08 824141.5003rd in Northwest Missed Playoffs
Portland 2008–09 825428.6591st in Northwest624.333 Lost in First Round
Portland 2009–10 825032.6103rd in Northwest624.333 Lost in First Round
Portland 2010–11 824834.5853rd in Northwest624.333 Lost in First Round
Portland 2011–12 432023.465(fired)
Career 930478452.514 341420.412

Personal life

McMillan's son Jamelle McMillan played as a guard for the Arizona State Sun Devils.[14]

See also


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