The Indiana Pacers are set to keep coach Nate McMillan around a while longer.
The Pacers and McMillan — who had one year left on his current deal — have finalized a contract extension, the team announced Wednesday. He was named coach of Indiana in 2016 and has yet to post a losing season with the team, winning at least 42 games in every season.
He has compiled a 181-136 record with Indiana, and with the team’s next victory, will pass Rick Carlisle into third place in NBA franchise history for the most wins as head coach.
“What Nate has done in four seasons with our franchise merits this extension,” Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard said in a statement. “Between injuries and changes in personnel, he and his coaching staff have adapted and produced positive results. He also represents the franchise, the city and our state in a first-class manner.’’
“I’d like to thank the Simon family, Kevin Pritchard and the Pacers organization for extending my contract during this unprecedented time in our country,” McMillan said in a statement. “I’m happy to have this opportunity and look forward to coaching this Pacers team into the future.”
Indiana has played through the Orlando season restart without All-Star big man Domantas Sabonis, who left the NBA campus to treat a plantar fasciitis injury in his left foot. All-Star guard Victor Oladipo has participated in five of the Pacers’ six seeding games to date while working his way back from a knee injury.
The Pacers are No. 5 in the Eastern Conference and headed to the playoffs, trailing the No. 4-seeded Miami Heat by 1 game. Indiana has two seeding games left to play in the restart: Wednesday vs. the Houston Rockets (4 ET, NBA TV) and Friday vs. the Miami Heat (4 ET, ESPN). The Heat have two games left as well — vs. Oklahoma City on Wednesday (8 ET, League Pass) and Friday’s game against Indiana.
McMillan is in his third stint as an NBA coach, previously serving as coach of the Seattle SuperSonics (1999-2005) and Portland Trail Blazers (2005-12). He was an associate head coach for the Pacers from 2013-16 before being promoted to coach. He is 659-588 all-time in the regular season and 17-32 in the playoffs in his career. He has gotten out of the first round once in his career, when the 2004-05 Sonics reached the Western Conference semifinals.