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McMillian to be Blazers coach
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Old 07 Jul 2005, 02:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default McMillian to be Blazers coach

Wednesday, July 6, 2005
McMillan leaves Seattle for Portland

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ESPN.com news services

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Nate McMillan is leaving the Seattle SuperSonics to coach the Portland Trail Blazers. ESPN.com Insider Chad Ford reports that McMillan agreed to a five-year contract..


The Blazers late Wednesday night hired McMillan, who led the SuperSonics to the Northwest Division title this past season. He will be introduced Thursday at a news conference, the Blazers said in a statement.


McMillan's contract with the Sonics expired July 1 and the Blazers aggressively pursued him.


McMillan's departure comes a day after Seattle signed All-Star free agent Ray Allen to a five-year, $80 million contract extension.


"Our last compensation discussion detailed a proposal that on average would have made Nate one of the five highest paid active NBA coaches," Sonics president Wally Walker said in a statement. "While we made him a fair offer, we in no way begrudge Nate's ability to earn more than we could offer.


"Our respect and affection for Nate will not waver, no matter how paradoxical that he is moving to our Northwest rival."

McMillan was believed to be the Blazers' No. 1 choice all along, with the team also talking to former Blazers player and Bucks ex-coach Terry Porter and Phoenix assistant Marc Iavaroni.

The Blazers appeared close to offering the job to Iavaroni in late June, with the caveat that they first wanted a shot at luring McMillan away from the SuperSonics. The New York Times reported Sunday that Portland is offering McMillan an annual salary of $6 million.


McMillan replaces interim coach Kevin Pritchard, who took over for the fired Maurice Cheeks when the Blazers embarked on a youth movement in midseason. Cheeks was 162-139 in three-plus seasons with Portland.


McMillan had coached the Sonics since Nov. 27, 2000, and compiled a 212-183 record. McMillan spent his entire 12-year playing career with the Sonics.


Not much was expected of the Sonics this season, but McMillan led them to 52 wins and they took the San Antonio Spurs to six games in the Western Conference semifinals.


"We are feeling a mixture of pride in his accomplishments as the head coach of the Sonics and sorrow that he will not be a part of our organization going forward," Walker said.


"The pride stems from seeing his evolution in becoming a head coach less than five years ago to becoming a candidate for coach of the year this past year. He will be missed."


McMillan comes to a team that has lost its way recently after being one of the NBA's most consistent franchises. The Trail Blazers have missed the playoffs for two straight seasons, snapping a streak of 21 straight years reaching the postseason in 2004.


The team finished last season with a 27-55 record, their worst mark in 31 years and even saw its attendance decline.


Off the court, Trail Blazers players have faced accusations ranging from drug use to dogfighting.

The Blazers are trying to rebuild around young players such as forward Zach Randolph, who only played 46 games last season because of injuries but was the team's leading scorer. Portland has also drafted high school players in the first round of the draft the past three years with Travis Outlaw, Sebastian Telfair and Martell Webster, the Blazers' first pick this year.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2101994
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I wonder how Ray Allen feels now.
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Old 07 Jul 2005, 12:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Why would you leave a playoff team for Portland?
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Old 07 Jul 2005, 01:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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McMillian is a true genious.....yeah right how dumb can he be.
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Old 07 Jul 2005, 04:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Why would you leave a playoff team for Portland?
Portland has money and Zach Randolph, Sebastian Telfair.
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Old 07 Jul 2005, 05:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Wait a second.


Doesn't Allen still have until the 28/29th to sign it as a new deal is being worked out or something in the NBA in general?

Maybe he stayed because he was leaving.
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Old 07 Jul 2005, 05:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I look at it this way. You resigned Allen. You got Lewis, Ridnour, and Collison signed to deals. You'll probably retain Radmanovic. You have a solid nucleus to advance even further next year. But follow the money trail. Seattle offered 18 million and Portland offered 30. Kind of hard to turn down that extra 12 million.
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Old 07 Jul 2005, 05:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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True, but I would rather have a chance to win a championship, wouldn't you?
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Old 07 Jul 2005, 06:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Highlight Pt.2
Wait a second.


Doesn't Allen still have until the 28/29th to sign it as a new deal is being worked out or something in the NBA in general?

Maybe he stayed because he was leaving.
Singings don't become offical until July 22
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Old 07 Jul 2005, 11:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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They don't wouldn't it suck if he know comes to Portland to stay with his coach.
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Old 11 Jul 2005, 12:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Singings don't become offical until July 22

Ah that's right. Thank you Blair.
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