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

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