End of the trail: Blazers fire McMillan
By SPORTS NETWORK
|Former head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers Nate McMillan. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFP)
PORTLAND - The Portland Trail Blazers fired head coach Nate McMillan on Thursday, after almost seven years at the helm.
The move was made in the aftermath of a 121-79 defeat against the Knicks in New York on Wednesday night, the seventh loss in nine games for the club which now occupies last place in the Northwest Division with a 20-23 mark. Portland began the season winning seven of its first nine.
"Clearly the season to this point has not gone the way we had hoped it would and after talking with Nate we decided it was best to part ways," said Portland team president Larry Miller. "I want to personally acknowledge and thank Nate for his many contributions to this franchise and wish him nothing but the best for the future."
Assistant coach Kaleb Canales will finish the season as interim head coach. The Blazers continue a seven-game road trip in Chicago on Friday.
McMillan racked up a 266-269 record with the franchise, since coming over from the rival Seattle SuperSonics prior to the 2005-06 season -- good enough for third on the club's all-time wins list behind Rick Adelman and Jack Ramsay.
He led the Blazers to three straight playoff appearances from 2009-11 but lost in six games in the first round each time.