The Atlanta Hawks have been steeped in drama in the last week. The recent developments add to an embattled season, where the team has fallen short of expectations.
NBA insider Shams Charania of The Athletic published a story stating Hawks head coach Nate McMillan has considered resigning during the season. This comes after reports of McMillan and Trae Young not being on the same page to start the season.
McMillan took over this team for Lloyd Pierce and led them to the Eastern Conference Finals as interim head coach in 2021. People forget, but McMillan initially hesitated to take over the team during that strange season.
Charania’s reporting mentioned that McMillan is safe now but “appears to be near the end of his tenure with the Hawks after this season.” Mike Conti of 92.9FM The Game tweeted that Hawks CEO Steve Koonin was on The Dukes and Bell Show Friday afternoon and called this story “trash journalism.”
This shocking revelation came on the heels of Travis Schlenk stepping down as team president last week. Schlenk’s move preceded three front-office executives being dismissed. With the Ressler family taking a more hands-on approach, what does this mean for the team’s future?
Fox Sports NBA analyst Ric Bucher stated that one of the reasons Schlenk stepped down was due to his souring relationship with Young and Nick Ressler. Bucher wrote Ressler, Young, and general manager Landry Fields are “close and committed to building around Young.”
This turmoil has created doubt as the Hawks sit at 17-19, struggling to find a breakthrough on the court. Now, the future of the head coach is up in the air, and John Collins could still be in his final days with the team.
We can’t forget the rumblings from rival executives who think Young might consider asking for a trade if the team does not do well this year. There are so many questions that Hawk fans want answers to, but it is unlikely they will get many of them until after this season unfolds.
If McMillan eventually decides to resign mid-season, the organization would be viewed as chaotic. What legitimate coach would want to join a dysfunctional franchise? It is imperative that the front office settles the situation behind the scenes. Meanwhile, the team must remain focused on the task hand – making the playoffs.
Atlanta has to block out the distractions while also figuring out how to win games. This season is far from over for the Hawks, but many changes could be on the horizon at the season’s end.