• January 28, 2023

Atlanta Hawks fire coach Lloyd Pierce

ATLANTA – Hawks Manager Lloyd Pierce was sacked on Monday as the catch was less than half of a season when expectations had risen before being hampered by injuries.

Travis Schlenk, President and General Manager of Atlanta, announced the move in a brief statement from the team.

Assistant Nate McMillan will act as the team’s interim coach, Schlenk also announced on Monday evening. McMillan, who was added to Pierce’s staff in the off-season, has extensive head coaching experience and a record 667-591 (.530) in 16 seasons with the Seattle SuperSonics. Portland Trail Blazer and Indiana Pacers.

McMillan was extremely loyal to Pierce, and McMillan met with him and the rest of the Hawks’ coaching staff shortly after Pierce was fired. Pierce spoke out in favor of McMillan taking on the interim job that is important for McMillan, sources said Adrian Wojnarowski from ESPN.

The Hawks are 14-20 and 11th in the Eastern Conference after a 109-99 loss In the intense heat On Sunday evening. It was the Hawks’ 11th loss after a fourth quarter lead. The teams play in Miami again on Tuesday.

Pierce, 44, gave no indication that he was in any trouble after losing on Sunday. He even ran the Hawks practice in Miami on Monday morning.

In the statement, Schlenk thanked Pierce not only for his work with the team, but also with the city of Atlanta. Schlenk told reporters at a press conference Monday that while it was a difficult decision to let Pierce go, the front office didn’t feel the team was making progress quickly enough.

“As we said at the beginning of the season, our goal was to make progress this year,” said Schlenk at the press conference. “To move forward. And we just felt like it wasn’t going as fast as we wanted it to be. These are not easy decisions. These are real life decisions that affect multiple families, and they are not easy. But we felt like it was the best we could do for the organization to move forward. “

The Hawks last appeared in the playoffs in 2017. The team has rebuilt around Point Guard Bring you young and forward John Collinsand it invested heavily in veterans in the off-season.

Important additions are Bogdan Bogdanovic, Danilo Gallinari, Rondo region and Kris Dunn. The Hawks’ talent also received a significant upgrade with the addition of a center Clint Chapel.

The Hawks had money to spend on free agents, and Schlenk wasted no time adding Gallinari (three years, $ 61.5 million), Rondo (two years, $ 15 million), and Dunn (two years, $ 10 million).

Dunn still has to play as he has repeatedly recovered from ankle surgery. Bogdanovic missed 25 games. Gallinari missed nine.

The biggest step came when Schlenk Bogdanovic made an offer – four years for $ 72 million – Sacramento Kings didn’t match.

However, injuries to Bogdanovic and others have prevented Pierce from having a healthy roster.

Perhaps most disruptive to the Hawks’ progress was the loss of the rising star De’Andre Hunter for knee surgery. Hunter, who became Young and Collins, missed 16 games.

The injuries weren’t enough to overcome management’s disappointment with the slow start. This was supposed to be the season the Hawks returned to the playoffs, and Pierce admitted before the campaign that it was time to win.

“Look, it was definitely a problem,” Schlenk said of the injuries. “We’re not going to sit here blaming the injuries for where we are. But if we get close to the close of trading here in 24 days it will certainly be a little harder not to have a game this year, I don’t think so if we were in full strength with all the guys we signed up for this summer.

“Well, it makes it a little more difficult. But we’re not going to sit here blaming the injuries for where we are.”

Atlanta started 10-9 but it has lost 11 of its last 15.

The Hawks are on their way to a slight improvement over last season when Atlanta went between 20 and 47. The Hawks finished the Eastern Conference in a virtual tie for the last time, percentage points before Cleveland Cavaliers. Atlanta was one of eight teams banned from restarting the NBA in 2020.

Philadelphia 76ers Coach Doc Rivers said he was “really shocked” by Pierce’s shot.

“Really disappointed,” said Rivers. “I just spoke to him five days ago, I’d like to say. He just had a brand new baby. It’s tough business, boy. It’s tough. I’ve always thought that rebuilding would be really difficult.”

“Unfortunately, most of the renovations go to Lloyd Pierce. You are in the middle of the renovation and then blame the coach for the losses for which you had no chance to win. Unfortunately, that’s exactly how it works.” the league.”

Pierce, who was hired in 2018, was 63-120 (.344) with the Hawks and missed the playoffs in each of his two completed seasons.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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