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Nathaniel "Nate" McMillan (born August 3, 1964 in Raleigh, North Carolinamarker) is a retired American professional basketball player and current head coach of the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers. Prior to his coaching stint with the Blazers, McMillan was head coach of the Seattle SuperSonics for five years, after succeeding Paul Westphal in 2000.

Early life and college career

McMillan grew up in the heart of North Carolina's basketball country and attended Raleigh's Enloe High Schoolmarker, where he went unnoticed by major college scouts. After a brief basketball career at Chowan College in Murfreesboro, North Carolinamarker, he returned to Raleigh to play for Jim Valvano at North Carolina State Universitymarker, 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 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. Known as "Mr. Sonic" for his 19 years of service to the team, his #10 jersey was retired by the Sonics. 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

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 as coach, he provided a major turnaround after the franchise got off to a miserable start that year, and he was hired as head coach for the next 2001-02 campaign. McMillan led the clubs to the playoffs in his second year before back-to-back mediocre seasons. In his final year as Sonics coach, McMillan led the team to a Northwest Division title 2005.

After 19 years with the Seattle organization, McMillan left Seattle on July 7, 2005 to become the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers. He took over a team riddled with cap problems and off-the-court drama, but has steadily calmed the waters in Portland.

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. He is also a member of the National Junior College Basketball Hall of Fame, due to his All-American performance at Chowan.

Coaching record

SEA
2000–01
67 38 29 .567 5th in Pacific
Missed Playoffs
SEA
2001–02
82 45 37 .549 4th in Pacific 5 2 3
Lost in First Round
SEA
2002–03
82 40 42 .488 5th in Pacific
Missed Playoffs
SEA
2003–04
82 37 45 .451 5th in Pacific
Missed Playoffs
SEA
2004–05
82 52 30 .634 1st in Northwest 11 6 5
Lost in Conf. Semifinals
POR
2005–06
82 21 61 .256 5th in Northwest
Missed Playoffs
POR
2006–07
82 32 50 .390 3rd in Northwest
Missed Playoffs
POR
2007–08
82 41 41 .500 3rd in Northwest
Missed Playoffs
POR
2008–09
82 54 28 .659 1st in Northwest (tie) 6 2 4
Lost in First Round
Career
641 360 363 .498 22 10 12

Personal Life

His son Jamelle McMillan is also a successful basketball player, and currently playing as a guard for the Arizona State Sun Devils.

References

  1. 2006 USA Basketball
  2. http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/mcmillan_jamelle00.html


External links




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