Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel is moving quickly in his effort to replace Brian Shaw on his coaching staff. Zak Keefer reports that Vogel met Monday with Nate McMillan about the vacant assistant coaching spot in Indy.
Vogel met with former Sonics and TrailBlazers head coach Nate McMillan on Monday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse regarding the position, a source told The Star. The two also went to dinner that night at Mo's Steakhouse Downtown.
With all due respect to Brian Shaw, adding McMillan would upgrade the coaching staff heading into next season. For years, McMillan’s teams exceeded expectations in Seattle and Portland with a tough-minded, defensive style of play which fits the successful style of play displayed by the current Pacers.
GM Kevin Pritchard will no doubt play a strong roll should McMillan decide to join Vogel’s staff. Prichard helped shake up pro hoops in the Northwest by playing a part in luring McMillan, aka Mr. Sonic, away from Seattle to take over the top job with the Blazers. McMillan's best coaching job may have come in his final year with the Sonics when he squeezed 52 wins out of a team led by Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis.
The next year McMillan took over the rubble of the Jail Blazers and began rebuilding along with Pritchard. After winning 21 games his first year, the Blazers steadily improved, eventually making the playoffs three consecutive years, before serious injuries to Brandon Roy and Greg Oden set back the organization.
Vogel mentioned wanting a former player on his staff and I would have to assume McMillan would be at or at least near the top of his list for replacing Shaw for next season.