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Trail Blazers fire coach Nate McMillan

Mar 15, 2012, 3:48 PM EDT

Portland Trail Blazers v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

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.

  1. phillyphever - Mar 15, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    What could have happened if they drafted Durant instead of Owdon.

    • jedifriedchicken - Mar 15, 2012 at 5:48 PM

      The question should be what could have happened if Roy & Oden had not been dragged down by injury…

  2. jkrall920 - Mar 15, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    Bring him to the Bucks!

  3. tcclark - Mar 15, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    That’s a shame. He’s a good coach. The Knicks should really take a long look at him.

    • davidly - Mar 15, 2012 at 8:51 PM

      Ha! On another thread, I just said that they should hire him immediately.

  4. qdog112 - Mar 15, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    Nate is a very good coach and he’s better off away from that situation. He’ll land on his feet, in a better place. Good luck home boy.

    • p1nch3dloaf - Mar 15, 2012 at 8:30 PM

      Nate is a very good coach with young impressionable players. The jury is out on how he manages the vets and allotting playing time to others who may be more deserving.

  5. bearsstillsuck - Mar 15, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Hopefully a change helps the team.

  6. adzs93 - Mar 15, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Please don’t go after Coach Monty lool despite our record we got a decent future ahead with him at the helm
    From a Hornets fan :D

  7. boilerup1869 - Mar 15, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    I wish they would fire Greg Oden

  8. david8726 - Mar 15, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    So basically he got fired because Oden never panned out and Roy had to retire.

    This is a classic example of how you get hired to get fired as a head coach in any sport. Even when you’re good, people will scapegoat you.*

    *unless you’re Jerry Sloan

  9. 0pu8bdmx - Mar 15, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    It’s sad, for a season that started so well. Of late I haven’t even wanted to read the reports on the games.

    Hopefully someone will tell those that are still there to snap out of it and actually play like they care.

  10. dallasstars9 - Mar 15, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    He could coach Seattle…… oh wait never mind!

  11. shockexchange - Mar 15, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    Cousins get Westphal fired, Melo “gets D’Antoni got” and now Crawford and Felton catch fade with McMillan … who’s next?

    • slowclyde86 - Mar 15, 2012 at 6:50 PM

      Notice that all of those teams suck.

  12. brianbosworthisstonecold - Mar 15, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    Good riddance.

  13. goforthanddie - Mar 15, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    Good coach, but his time was up. Hopefully we get someone just as good. Allen could make that a problem.

  14. boilerup1869 - Mar 15, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Yay oden was fired today too.

    Ask and you shall receive!

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