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Nate McMillan to join USA Basketball coaching staff

Head coach Gregg Popovich selected McMillan to be one of three assistants to help lead the Men’s National Team.

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Denver Nuggets Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Pacers head coach Nate McMillan will return to the sidelines as an assistant for the USA Basketball Men’s National Team, now led by Gregg Popovich.

Popovich finalized his staff on Thursday with Golden State’s Steve Kerr and Villanova’s Jay Wright joining McMillan as assistants for Coach Pop. The staff will coach the Men’s National team for the 2019 FIBA World Cup late next summer in China, along with the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, assuming the team qualifies for the big events.

McMillan served a similar role under former Men’s National Team coach, Micke Krzyzewski from 2006-2012 which included two Olympic gold medal teams. Now he’ll have a chance to help Team USA earn another gold.

”I’m honored and thrilled to be with USA Basketball and the National Team again,” said McMillan. “My previous experience I figured to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and now I’ve been blessed again. I look forward to working with Coach Popovich and a great group of players.”

From a selfish Pacers viewpoint, there could be mild concern about the World Championships taking up McMillan’s focus so close to the start of the Pacers 2019 training camp. However, building relationships with some of the elite players in the game which hopefully will include another feathery Pacers representative, could be a long-term aid when trying to spend the team’s cap space.