Trae Young is very much the future for the Atlanta Hawks, and it sounds like he may have had a role in the team’s decision to fire coach Lloyd Pierce.
Chris Kirschner, Sam Amick, and David Aldridge of The Athletic reported on Tuesday that Pierce had lost the support of Young, among other players. The report states that Pierce and Young had “a difficult dynamic.” Pierce had allegedly taken a “tough love approach” with Young from Day One, which Young often pushed back against. The report adds that the two clashed on a number of issues, including Young’s shot selection and Pierce’s late-game decisions. Player support behind Pierce otherwise had also supposedly been dwindling towards the end with the Pierce-Young relationship said to be “a tone-setter of sorts” for the entire group.
Pierce departs from his post with a 63-120 record (.344) and zero playoff appearances in two-and-a-half seasons. Assistant Nate McMillan, who has 16 years of head coaching experience, will be Atlanta’s new interim coach.
The firing of Pierce may not fix all that ails the 14-20 Hawks however. Young has also had tensions flare up this season with some of his own teammates.
The Atlanta Hawks either decided abruptly to fire coach Lloyd Pierce, or they did a very bad job communicating their coming decision with their players.
Pierce was fired on Monday after running the team’s practice. The firing apparently came as a shock, as one player told Chris Kirschner of The Athletic that he had learned of the firing via Twitter.
This is never a good look for any organization. Whether Hawks players liked or disliked Pierce, they have the right to know their coach’s status before the rest of the world does. It’s never going to make a player feel good if reporters know his coach was fired before the player does.
The Hawks have been a bit of a mess this year. Two of the team’s high-profile players apparently didn’t see eye-to-eye on the offense earlier in the season. Maybe that played a role in Pierce’s departure.
The Atlanta Hawks are on the path to missing the postseason for the fourth consecutive year, and they have now fired their head coach.
The Hawks announced on Monday that they have fired Lloyd Pierce, who was in his third season with the team. He becomes the second coach to be fired this season after the Minnesota Timberwolves fired Ryan Saunders last week.
Atlanta entered Monday with a record of 14-20 and having lost three of its last four games. The Hawks were 20-47 under Pierce last season and 29-53 the year before.
Pierce, 44, signed a three-year deal with an option for a fourth season back in 2018. He had been an assistant with the Philadelphia 76ers for several seasons before that.
The Hawks were hoping to show signs of a strong rebuild this season, but they have lost 11 of their past 15 games after starting the year 10-9.
The Utah Jazz proved on Thursday that Lloyd Pierce’s praise of the team was warranted.
Prior to his Atlanta Hawks’ game against the Jazz, Pierce lauded Utah. He said that they were the best team they have played this season.
The Jazz beat the Hawks 116-92 on Jan. 15. The teams met again on Thursday, with Utah winning 112-91. The large margins of victory were very similar in both games.
Even if Pierce isn’t saying that the Jazz are the best team in the NBA, he is correct that Utah is playing better than any team in the league. The Jazz are 17-5, which is the best mark in the NBA. They recently won 11 games in a row.
This is the second season that Utah has had newcomers Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson playing together. It seems that the players have found their rhythm and are playing cohesively. They’re also motivated after losing in the first round of the playoffs last year.
The Atlanta Hawks have found their replacement for Mike Budenholzer.
The Hawks have hired Lloyd Pierce as their new head coach and will make the announcement on Monday. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says Pierce is getting a three-year deal with a team option for a fourth year.
Pierce, 42, is an assistant with the Philadelphia 76ers and has been with them since 2013. He has been with the team throughout “The Process,” which makes him a good fit for the rebuilding Hawks.
“The main reason is just looking at their young players,” Pierce told the Philly Inquirer this week about what makes him a good fit. “They got four guys in the draft. They got a couple of young players that are on their roster. So what’s most important when you are dealing with young players and young talent, it’s the development and relational side of that. …
“It’s kind of my track record. It’s anybody’s track record of how do you communicate, how do you work with players, how do you develop, what does that mean?”
Atlanta has a good chance to land a very high pick in the upcoming draft, which should help with their rebuild.
The Atlanta Hawks have not been mentioned in connection with many head coaching candidates since the regular season ended, and that could be because they have already narrowed their list down to one name.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Lloyd Pierce has emerged as the frontrunner to land the Hawks job.
Pierce, of course, was still coaching with the 76ers as of Wednesday night, but the team has since been eliminated from the postseason by the Boston Celtics.
Pierce has been an assistant coach in the NBA since 2007, having worked with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies prior to joining the Sixers. The Hawks are looking for a new head coach to lead their stripped-down roster after they fired Mike Budenholzer following the season. With some of the top names already being signed, it makes sense that Atlanta could have to hire a first-time head coach.