Hawks GM Fields says Snyder a candidate to replace McMillan

Feb 21, 2023, 7:17 PM | Updated: Feb 25, 2023, 9:35 am

FILE - Utah Jazz Head Coach Quinn Snyder gives instructions to his team during the first half of an...

FILE - Utah Jazz Head Coach Quinn Snyder gives instructions to his team during the first half of an NBA basketball game, March 12, 2022, in Salt Lake City. Atlanta Hawks general manager Landry Fields said Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, that Snyder, the former Utah coach, will be “somebody we will consider” in the search to replace Nate McMillan. The Hawks fired McMillan on Tuesday, Feb. 21, and Fields stressed the team's eighth-place standing in the Eastern Conference is “not acceptable” for a team which advanced to the conference finals in 2021. (AP Photo/Adam Fondren, File)

(AP Photo/Adam Fondren, File)

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Hawks general manager Landry Fields said Wednesday former Utah coach Quinn Snyder is among those being considered to replace Nate McMillan.

The Hawks (29-30) fired McMillan on Tuesday. Fields stressed Atlanta’s eighth-place standing in the Eastern Conference is not acceptable for a team which advanced to the conference finals in 2021.

Snyder, 56, was 372-264 as Utah’s coach from 2014-22. He guided the Jazz to six consecutive playoff appearances before stepping down after last season.

Fields said Snyder’s availability “is a factor in the sense that I feel comfortable mentioning his name, but there are other candidates I don’t want to mention because they are a part of other teams.”

Snyder was a Hawks assistant in 2013-14.

Other possible candidates include Golden State assistant Kenny Atkinson and Milwaukee assistant Charles Lee. Both are former Atlanta assistants.

Fields said he has started talking with potential candidates and could make a hire this season. Assistant coach Joe Prunty began serving as interim coach with Wednesday’s practice but may not be involved in the interview process for the full-time position.

“To do this now, sort of last minute, there’s enough on Joe’s plate,” Fields said, adding his message to Prunty is “just focus on the task at hand and we’ll cover everything else later.”

McMillan, 58, went 99-80 as Atlanta’s coach, including a 27-11 record as interim in the second half of the 2020-21 season. His success that season in leading Atlanta to the Eastern Conference finals earned him the full-time position.

The Hawks are hoping for a similar late-season revival under Prunty, but players say consistency and accountability must improve.

“It ain’t on Nate McMillan,” guard Dejounte Murray said after Wednesday’s practice. “We’ve all got to look in the mirror.”

Added center Clint Capela: “It’s on all of us. … Consistency, we just have to be better.”

McMillan couldn’t follow up on the 2021 success. The Hawks lost to Miami in the first round of the playoffs last season after surviving the play-in tournament.

Hawks forward John Collins said McMillan “was a great coach” but added “we need a different type of guidance” from the next coach.

When asked if accountability from players was lacking under McMillan, Collins said “Yeah, I definitely feel we can do a better job with that.”

Prunty, who has been an NBA assistant coach since 1996, has previous experience as an interim coach. He posted a 21-16 record with Milwaukee after Jason Kidd was fired during the 2017-18 season.

“It definitely helps, for sure, but every situation is different,” Prunty said. “… The reality is it’s very difficult to make wholesale changes. There may be things that could be tweaked here and there.”

Collins described Prunty as “a cool, calm coach, real relaxed.”

“I feel we’re all comfortable with Joe,” Collins said. “Hopefully, it can be a smooth transition.”

Atlanta, which plays at home against Cleveland on Friday night, is struggling to remain in the top 10 in the conference for a return spot in the play-in field. The Hawks lost four of six games before the All-Star break and are only one game ahead of 10th-place Toronto in the East.

Fields said he considered a coaching change for one month and was influenced by back-to-back losses to Charlotte and the New York Knicks before the break.

“I do believe there was slippage and I felt that was a need we needed to address,” Fields said.

Fields said he did not consult point guard Trae Young or other players before making the move. Fields said speculation McMillan’s efforts were affected by conflicts with Young were unfair to the player and were not a factor in his decision to make a coaching change.

Young was not available for interviews on Wednesday.

Overall in 19 seasons, McMillan has a 760-668 record with the Seattle SuperSonics, Portland Trail Blazers, Indiana Pacers and Hawks.


AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Hawks GM Fields says Snyder a candidate to replace McMillan