US basketball

Hawks’ Nate McMillan fined for Knicks bias comments

Hawks’ Nate McMillan fined for Knicks bias comments

PLAYOFF-BOUND. Coach Nate McMillan hopes to steer Trae Young and the Hawks past the Knicks in the playoffs.

James Lang/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The NBA slaps Hawks coach Nate McMillan with a $25,000 fine for saying the league ‘needs and wants’ the Knicks in the NBA playoffs

The NBA fined the Atlanta Hawks’ Nate McMillan $25,000 on Thursday, May 20, one day after the coach asserted the league has a pro-New York Knicks bias when it comes to the playoffs.

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.

The Hawks and Knicks tip off their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series on Sunday in New York. –