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Nate McMillan agreed to a contract extension two weeks ago. The Pacers just fired him.



Pritchard and McMillan previously had worked together with the Trail Blazers.

McMillan led the Pacers to the Eastern Conference playoffs in each of his four seasons in Indianapolis, though the team never advanced beyond the first round, went 3-16 in the postseason under McMillan and have lost a franchise-record nine straight playoff games, the 11th-longest postseason losing streak in NBA history. Most recently, Indianapolis was swept by the Miami Heat in a series that ended Monday.

Nevertheless, in announcing that the Pacers had reworked McMillan’s final year on his contract for 2020-21 and added a team option for 2021-22, Pritchard hailed the coach for keeping the team afloat amid injuries to players such as all-star forward Domantas Sabonis, who missed the NBA’s restart because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot, and all-star guard Victor Oladipo, who labored to return from a torn quad tendon in his right knee.

“What Nate has done in four seasons with our franchise merits this extension,” Pritchard said Aug. 12. “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.”

In 16 seasons as head coach of the Sonics, Trail Blazers and Pacers, McMillan has advanced past the first round of the playoffs exactly once, in 2005 with Seattle.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Rockets Coach Mike D’Antoni will be a top Pacers target if he leaves Houston. He’s in the final year of his contract.

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