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Report: Pistons interested in Nate McMillan as coach

Apr 23, 2013, 10:59 AM EDT

Portland Trail Blazers v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

After Nate McMillan was fired from the Portland Trail Blazers, he was still getting paid for a few years. He hasn’t jumped back into the coaching game because he hasn’t needed to, so he worked with Team USA this summer at the London Olympics and has enjoyed a little time off with family.

But the time may be coming that he gets back in.

The Detroit Pistons are interested, reports the New York Daily News.

The Pistons want to hire a proven head coach and are targeting McMillan, 48, who last coached the Blazers from 2005-06 until he was fired in the middle of the 2011-12 season.

McMillan and his agent said they have not been contacted, but that’s pretty standard at this point. There are ways to have more casual back-door conversations to gauge interest before making a formal call.

McMillan would replace Lawrence Frank, who was let go after two season in Detroit with 25 and 29 wins, respectively. His old-school ways didn’t seem to mesh with the players. McMillan was a former NBA player and that does draw some respect from players.

McMillan is one of the better coaches out on the market and would seem a good fit for a young Pistons team with some nice young pieces such as Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight. McMillan’s teams play a very slow, controlled kind of style — this isn’t going to be ShowTime. But his teams both in Seattle and Portland won, too.

  1. unxpexted1 - Apr 23, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    I really like Nate Mcmillian as a coach even though he doesn’t have much to show for it in his career. I wanted him for the Lakers. Defensive-minded coach that plays a slow it down half court game is what I thought/think the Lakers needed at the time. But I’m not sure how well he will work for the young Pistons team. They do have to talented big man for him to work with though. Nate deserves to be coaching though

    • hannsta - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      He definitely gets wins out of teams but after watching him for years with the Blazers, I’m glad he’s gone. His painfully slow system would work great for a team like the Lakers, but I cant see it matching up with the Pistons. He never gives minutes to young players and makes some very odd rotation choices(ex: starting Steve Blake over Andre Miller for the majority of the 09 season). If you want to squeeze the most wins out of an old, slow, half-court team, hire away. If your looking to develop a young non-playoff team McMillan is not your man.

  2. bifford - Apr 23, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Nate won’t be a bad choice. I think Detroit should wait and see what happens with Lionel Hollins in Memphis, he would be a perfect fit for Detroit’s roster.

    • money2long - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:09 PM

      dang, from the grizzlies to the pistons. that’d be rough.

  3. pistolpete0903 - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    Can’t go wrong with Nate. Good coach, decent guy; had a string of injuries to his star players in Portland.

  4. eugenesaxe - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Good coach, wrong team.

  5. praetorian12 - Apr 23, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    I think there are a lot of Sonics fans who would tell you Nate McMillan would be their first choice for a new head coach… if Seattle gets a team….

  6. edbernard2 - Apr 24, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    The Pistons need to hire someone who is defensive minded. They also need someone who is capable of developing young talent and instilling a winning culture. Nate McMillan is the right coach from a defensive perspective but I am not certain that he can deliver on all 3 of the previously mentioned areas of need. In any event, the Pistons should take their time and make certain that the next coach that they hire will survive more than one or two seasons.

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