The hiring of new assistant coach Nate McMillian ran by the wayside a bit as the team was busy signing guys, and getting David West back. But looking at this coaching move is a great thing. McMillian has been a head coach, so he’ll bring that coaching experience along with him. Also, he’s a former player, which I think is a huge plus for this Indiana Pacers team.
Just like Brian Shaw brought that player experience, and even championship experience, McMillian will bring that extra bit of knowledge as head coach to help out Coach Frank Vogel in his next year of coaching. Vogel has always been great about surrounding himself with the right guys to help him succeed. He’s a guy that will state it’s all about the coaches around him before himself, and what a treat that is to hear.
You can’t underestimate the power of coaching in the NBA, especially with a team like the Pacers, who don’t have many “old” guys on the team. I think this team is ready to learn and listen to what coaches have to say. I know Paul George really took to heart what Brian Shaw would tell him and talk to him about. I think Lance Stephenson listens a lot to Larry Bird, and what he expects out of him. Most people just dismiss the NBA head coaches as managers and guys who have to control egos.
But on this Pacers team, there’s not egos to control. You have players who want to go out there together, and win the game. No one worries about the stat sheet afterwards, but more about the w in the column. That’s why the right coaches here can make a difference. It’s tough losing assistant coach Brian Shaw, but most people were surprised he went this long without a head coaching job. I imagine if McMillian makes a difference with the Pacers, we’ll have to see him on his way out as well. But he can still make a difference for this team, and he’s an excellent addition in this busy offseason.