If you’re going to be fired after winning 51 percent of your games despite career-ending injuries to the two guys your team decided to build their franchise around, this is the best way to go out — fully-buttoned and full of grace.

Never let it be said that Nate McMillan isn’t the classiest guy around. Full text of the letter after the jump, for those of you who hate squinting.

Thank you, Portland!

There really are no words to express how amazing my time in Portland has been these past few years. Even though I was called “Mr. Sonic” from my days in Seattle, you greeted me warmly from the moment I arrived and showed me and my family love, respect and support. It meant the world to us and always will. There have been many ups and downs along the way, however the value of all the memories I’ve shared in Portland will go unmatched. Portland is a very SPECIAL and UNIQUE place. There isn’t an environment in the NBA that can compare to that of the Rose Garden. The energy and passion that is present there each possession for 44 games a season is electrifying. You, the fans, bring it every game. You helped lift my spirits and propelled the team to victory on many, many occasions. Coaches come and go but one thing that will never change is the unique bond that Portland and Oregon has with its NBA team.

I have a long list of people to thank during my time in Portland. First and foremost, I would like to thank Mr. Paul Allen. Without you this journey would not have been possible, and I am greatly indebted for excellent opportunity. I also owe a great deal of gratitude to President Larry Miller and the executive staff for all of their hard work, help and support over the years. I want to thank my coaching staff, past and present, as well as the training staff and medical staff for helping and supporting me through the good times and bad. I want to thank and acknowledge all the players that I had the privilege to coach the past seven years. Thank you to the great staff at the Trail Blazers Practice Facility and all the great hard working people in the Trail Blazers front office and at the Rose Garden Arena. They all care more for the fans and this team than you will ever know. Thank you to my friends and supporters. All the best to all of you.

I am truly humbled and honored to have served as the Head Coach of the Portland Trail Blazers for the past seven years.

Go Portland, Go Oregon and Go Trail Blazers,

Nate McMillan

(via Blazer’s Edge)

Comments (16)

  1. 44 home games a season? Wut?

  2. why no comic sans?

  3. really, really nice. amazing note, Nate.

  4. Impressive! (And LOL on “fully buttoned” and “squinting”.)

  5. very classy guy

  6. Good news – Nate’s old team, the Sonics, will be back in Seattle sometime.

    And the Pacific Northwest connection wouldn’t be complete without the return of the NBA to Vancouver.

    Way to be great, Nate!

  7. He would be perfect for the Clippers job… trust me

    • What this guy said. I feel like Chris Paul and Nate both run their teams in very similar ways. Could definitely work out well.

  8. Big mistake by portland… Why not give Nate a chance to rebuild, he is a proven thing? Felton and crawford are gone next year, wallace and camby traded, they will have two picks and some cap space… Nate won’t be without job in the summer, I tell you

    Remember when George Constanza was squinting? Lol

  9. Always loved Nate McMillan, he will find a head coaching job – if he wants one – in the NBA in no time.

  10. I’d take Nate Mac as my coach any day!

  11. Nate is a class act and great coach. He did not however have a 51 percent winning average, he was a handful of games under 500 for his career as a coach. I always say that Nate is the perfect technician in the right environment. What he’s not so good at is coaching on the fly, improvising, handling a lockout and getting his locker room on the same page. I’m surprised that he didn’t move into the front office in Portland.

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