In this image from video, Atlanta Hawks General Manager Landry Fields speaks to reporters after an NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at State Farm Arena on Thursday, February 9, 2023. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

Wednesday morning, Atlanta Hawks general manager Landry Fields spoke to reporters regarding the ouster of head coach Nate McMillan and the prospects of bringing in a new coach to take the helm. Assistant Joe Prunty will lead the team for the foreseeable future.

Currently, the Hawks have twenty-three games left in the regular season. Fields says the former Utah Jazz head coach, Quin Snyder, will be considered for the vacant head coach position because he’s currently unemployed.

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Snyder, 56, was 372-264 as Utah’s coach from 2014-22. He guided the Jazz to six consecutive playoff appearances before he stepped aside after last season.

Snyder was an assistant coach with the Hawks during the 2013-14 season.

“It’s been on my radar, honestly, for probably the last month or so,” Fields admitted when it crossed his mind to make the change at head coach. “Never want to put too much stock into any one or two particular games. But, you know, Charlotte, and Charlotte and the Knicks game were definitely strong indicators for me, just getting a sense of our players. And, you know, it’s something that I wanted to make sure to wait till yesterday to do it. I don’t want to have any distractions with people while they’re on break. And I also wanted to make sure that I did this face to face with Nate. And that was the time that we were going to be able to chat was yesterday.”

Additionally, the Hawks are expected to review the qualifications of these head coaching candidates: Milwaukee Bucks assistant Charles Lee, Kings assistant Jordi Fernandez, Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson, G League South Bay Lakers Head Coach Miles Simon.

Fields did not discuss other candidates for the head coach position due to tampering rules.

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After the All-Star Break, the Hawks have three games remaining against Washington and two games each against Boston, Brooklyn, Cleveland and Miami. In addition to games against Chicago, Golden State, Memphis, Minnesota plus the home finale against Philadelphia, Fields says he’s empowered the remaining coaches to do whatever they need to do to ensure this team makes the playoffs.

“And our objectives haven’t changed. And I’ve communicated that with everyone that our goal is to be a playoff team,” Fields continued. “Now, that is something we go about that I expect everyone to give it their all and absolutely put their best foot forward. And I’ve told our coaches that you’re empowered to do what you need to do to win ball games. However, I can be supportive during this process. But the mandate is very clear.”

The winners of the play-in tournament will likely face either the Boston Celtics or the Milwaukee Bucks, two teams that are the favorites in the East.

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“You know, you gotta look back at times like this, you know, we had a lot of struggles,” Hawks guard Dejounte Murray explained. “I immediately called him and had a great conversation with him. Because that’s somebody that I respect as a man, a father, basketball coach. He was a former player, and I respect what he did for the game. And I do feel bad, because it’s not just on Nate McMillan. We all got to look in the mirror and take responsibility. We all got to be better.”

John Collins said he’s confident in Joe Prunty’s abilities.

“And I feel like his understanding of the game just gives us some headway and leeway for whatever’s about to happen in the coming future,” Collins said. “I feel like all of us are all comfortable with Joe. Hopefully we can have a smooth transition.”

Atlanta will host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Feb. 24, the first game in a stretch of four straight home games after the All-Star Break. The Hawks have lost four out of their last six games.

“We have 23 games remaining in this season… however, that plays out,” said Hawks interim head coach Joe Prunty after practice. “And for us, like I said, today was a really good day. And, you know, again, I’m not going to tell you all these exclusive changes that we made. But that having been said, you know, as things move forward, we will tweak what, whatever needs to be tweaked.”

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Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...