Rick Carlisle, Brad Stevens react to Pacers firing Nate McMillan
Nate McMillan emerged as the latest casualty of this season’s playoffs after the Indiana Pacers decided to terminate the contract of the 56-year-old as the team’s head coach. Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle and Brad Stevens of the Boston Celtics both shared their thoughts on this recent development, and let’s just say that they are not exactly in agreement with how the Pacers’ front office acted here.
Carlisle expressed his disbelief in McMillan’s sacking:
“It’s just shocking to me. It’s very hard to comprehend,” Carlisle admitted, via ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “I don’t know what the organization’s philosophical reasons were, but I know Nate McMillan is one of the most respected coaches in the league.”
Stevens appears to be in the same boat:
“It’s on other people to decide what they want to do with their organization,” Stevens said, via Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. “I don’t know that anyone has gotten more out of his team the last 3-4 years than Nate McMillan.”
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, whose team just swept away the Pacers, also took aim at Indiana’s decision, especially in light of the fact that McMillan had just received a contract extension two weeks earlier.
McMillan parted ways with Indiana after four years at the helm. He also took on a role as the team’s assistant coach for three years prior to his promotion to the head job, giving him seven years with the franchise. He made the playoffs in all four years as head coach, but he went just 3-16 in the postseason.