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Atlanta Hawks remove interim tag from head coach Nate McMillan

Atlanta Hawks head coach Nate McMillan led the franchise to the NBA Eastern Conference Finals this season. File Photo by Gary C. Caskey/UPI
Atlanta Hawks head coach Nate McMillan led the franchise to the NBA Eastern Conference Finals this season. File Photo by Gary C. Caskey/UPI | License Photo

July 5 (UPI) -- Atlanta Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk announced Monday that the franchise has an agreement in place with head coach Nate McMillan to remove the interim tag from his title and keep him with the organization moving forward.

League sources told ESPN that McMillan agreed to a four-year contract to remain with the Hawks. The team didn't reveal terms of the agreement.

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"We're just drawing up the contract," Schlenk told reporters Monday. "... We've now worked together for four months. We've had a good working relationship, and I'm excited he's going to be our head coach moving forward."

Schlenk chose McMillan to replace former Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce at the beginning of March. When the Hawks parted ways with Lloyd, the team had a 14-20 record and sat near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.

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Under McMillan, the Hawks turned their season around, going 27-11 and earning the fifth seed in the East.

Atlanta then made a stunning playoff run, knocking off the fourth-seeded New York Knicks and the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers in the first and second rounds. The Hawks ultimately lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games during the Eastern Conference Finals, with star guard Trae Young hobbled due to a foot injury.

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"From the first day when he took over as interim head coach, we both made the decision we were going to get to the end of the season before we talked," Schlenk said. "The season obviously ended the other day, and we started talking to his agents [Sunday] and came to a deal [Monday] morning."

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McMillan entered the 2020-21 season having spent 16 years as an NBA head coach -- five with the Seattle SuperSonics, seven with the Portland Trail Blazers and four with the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers fired McMillan in August 2020, and he joined the Hawks' coaching staff shortly later.

The 56-year-old McMillan has a 688-599 career record in the regular season as a head coach in the NBA.

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