The NBA fined the Atlanta Hawks’ Nate McMillan $25,000 on Thursday, one day after the coach asserted the league has a pro-New York Knicks bias when it comes to the playoffs.
The Hawks and Knicks tip off their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series on Sunday in New York.
Per the league, McMillan was fined “for detrimental public comments asserting bias by the NBA relating to the 2020-21 Playoffs.”
On Wednesday, McMillan said the league “needs and wants” the Knicks in the NBA playoffs.
“Absolutely, I’ve talked about that to the team a lot. Basically, I’ve gone as far as saying the league wants this,” McMillan said Wednesday on a Zoom call. “They need this, New York, this is a big market for the league, and New York has been out of the playoffs for a number of years.
“And this is a team that our league, they want to see — there’s a huge fan base — and they want to see New York in the playoffs.”
McMillan guided the Hawks to a 27-11 record and the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs since taking over for the fired Lloyd Pierce in March.
--Field Level Media