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NBA Rumors: Hawks' Nate McMillan Has Considered Resigning After Trae Young Drama

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIDecember 30, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - DECEMBER 27: Head coach Nate McMillan of the Atlanta Hawks looks on in the fourth quarter against the Indiana Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on December 27, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Atlanta Hawks head coach Nate McMillan has "strongly considered resigning from his position" amid a tumultuous and disappointing season that has reportedly included tension with star guard Trae Young.

The Athletic's Shams Charania reported the news Friday after speaking with anonymous league sources, though he added that a resignation from McMillan does not appear to be "imminent."

Hawks CEO Steve Koonin swiftly denied Charania's report during an appearance on 92.9 The Game in Atlanta.

Mike Conti @MikeConti929

Hawks CEO Steve Koonin on <a href="https://twitter.com/DukesandBell929?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DukesandBell929</a> this afternoon called this story "trash journalism… This is made up stuff. I am literally calling Shams out. It is just hack journalism. Hack." <a href="https://t.co/rYIHvpHgTY">https://t.co/rYIHvpHgTY</a>

McMillan also responded to the report, saying he would consider retiring after the season, per Pat Benson of Sports Illustrated

Pat Benson @Pat_Benson_Jr

Nate McMillan responds to Shams Charania article. Says he will consider retiring after the season. <a href="https://t.co/riSJPs11VP">pic.twitter.com/riSJPs11VP</a>

Earlier this month, Charania and Sam Amick detailed a "miscommunication" regarding a missed Dec. 2 shootaround by Young.

At the time, McMillan "asked [Young] whether he would participate in shootaround, receive treatment during walk-through and play in the game against the Nuggets."

Young, however, wanted to make a decision later in the day after receiving treatment on his shoulder. McMillan then gave him the option of either coming off the bench or not showing up against the Denver Nuggets. Young chose to not play.

McMillan took over for Lloyd Pierce during the 2020-21 season after Atlanta got off to a 14-20 start. He turned the team around and guided the Hawks to a 27-11 finish. Atlanta excelled in the playoffs as well, upsetting the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers in the second round and reaching the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2014-15.

However, the Hawks have been a middling team ever since. They went 43-39 last year and quickly bowed out of the playoffs to the Miami Heat in the first round. This season's team is just 17-18 despite adding star guard Dejounte Murray from the San Antonio Spurs via a trade.

Young has struggled, shooting only 31.6 percent from three-point range. John Collins, who once appeared to be a franchise cornerstone, has been the subject of numerous trade rumors. Atlanta has the No. 21 net rating in the league at minus-1.0, per NBA.com, and the team has lost eight of its last 12.

All is certainly not lost, especially with more than half of the season remaining and the team sporting one of the league's most talented backcourts in Young and Murray.

But the latest report raises more concern regarding possible trouble behind the scenes as the Hawks search for the winning formula that propelled them to the Eastern Conference Finals just two years ago.