The Atlanta Hawks fired Coach Lloyd Pierce on Monday after a disappointing 14-20 start, and Nate McMillan was named interim head coach.
The Hawks were 63-120 in Pierce’s two-plus seasons.
“We would like to thank Lloyd for his work and commitment to not only the Hawks organization but the city of Atlanta. He and his wife, Melissa, are tremendous people who have made a positive impact throughout the city,” Hawks president of basketball operations and general manager Travis Schlenk said in a statement. “We have high expectations for our team on the court and we believe by making this change now that we can have a strong second half of the season.”
Atlanta started 10-9 but has lost 11 of its past 15 games.
The Hawks have talent with Trae Young, John Collins, De’Andre Hunter, Clint Capela, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Danilo Gallinari and Cam Reddish. But they have not been able to translate that talent into the kind of success Schlenk envisioned.
The Hawks are 11th in offensive rating but 23rd in defensive rating, including a league-worst fourth-quarter defensive rating.
Now, the Hawks will focus on his replacement, and the hiring process will be under scrutiny following Minnesota’s decision to hire Chris Finch, who is white, from Toronto instead of elevating Timberwolves associate head coach David Vanterpool, who is Black.
In the summer, Pierce was instrumental in forming Coaches for Racial Justice, an initiative associated with the National Basketball Coaches Association focused on “truth-telling and education, raising awareness of and teaching the history of racial injustice, impacting non-partisan policy reform, and working with local grassroots organizations to create change in every NBA market,” according to a mission statement.
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