Some interesting stuff on the reasons why, per Frank Hughes in the TNT today:
“I feel like it was time for a change, to go in a different direction,” McMillan said. “It’s no more than that. I’m not basing my decision on the past season and what we did or what we accomplished. At the end of the year, I felt like I would have to maybe do something different.
“It’s been 19 years. Nineteen years on the same stage. Nineteen years of doing the same show over and over again. I was bored with myself. And I’m sure the fans were bored with me.
“I was wondering for a few years what it would be like to play somewhere different. Obviously, I didn’t get that opportunity when I was playing. But now that I am coaching, I can find out what it will be like to be working somewhere else.
“When I was talking at the beginning of last season about ‘the last ride,’ that was a message then that I thought this might be it,” McMillan said. “That was how I felt.”
This sure sounds like this has been on his mind for some time, and in that regard, I’m mad today. I’m mad because his delay cost us Dwayne Casey. Now we’re left with the usual candidates for the next head coach. A lot of names have been floating around, obviously, and this is the time when you’ll see every name in the book. It’s got to be considered an interesting job to many basketball people, and you just never know who is going to shake loose.
Also, don’t worry about Ray second-guessing his choice. Hughes said as much today, as well as Ray’s agent said all along those two decisions were independent of each other.
Just keep this in mind – they must make the right choice for this next hire. To put it in perspective? The Knicks are now paying THREE different coaches, coaches they have terminated along the way, and are now looking to pay a FOURTH coach! Crazy stuff.
Also, keeping some perspective. Coming into this year, the Sonics did NOT want to re-sign Nate to any long-term deal. And for good reason, when you look at his record:
2000-01 38-29 .567
2001-02 45-37 .549
2002-03 40-42 .488
2003-04 37-45 .451
Coming into 04-05, look at that record. Is that the record of a coach that deserves top-5 money in the NBA coaching circles? NO WAY. A year ago today, if you took a quick poll, you might have found 50% of the fans out there that thought he should be fired right then, or at least just given one more year, but the odds of someone saying “sign him up!” would be less than zero. When I read Steve Kelley’s horrible article today, saying the Sonics blew it, what the hell is he thinking??? I can’t stand that guy. He is the king of the emotional overreaction to everything that happens, and to sit there and say that the Sonics should have locked him up last summer is 100% wrong.