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,
(via Blazer’s Edge)