EKS was brought to my attention at my internship, when the idea of “none coaching” by McMillan was compared to another Oregon icon…

Continued from Part 1:

The problem with Nate McMillan is what I refer to as EKS (Ernie Kent Syndrome). First identified in the mid 2000’s, EKS doomed the then-talented Oregon Ducks basketball program, forcing them to rely on ultra-talented players to essentially to coach themselves into the NCAA Tournament. Having gained early success, and having a nice regional pedigree (UO Alum), EKS’ founder Ernie Kent refused to call plays for any of his 13 years as head coach for the Oregon Duck basketball team. Now you may be thinking, why? Well the answer is because he didn’t need to. In 2001, just as he was being considered for termination for his lack of play calling/coaching Kent was blessed with a group of players maturing at the right time to lead their team to an Elite 8 run in the NCAA Tournament. Luke Ridnour, Freddy Jones, and Luke Jackson were “coaches on the floor,” (as told to me by UO alum and Congressional Staffer Ree Armitage) and thus just ignored Ernie’s random outbursts from the bench.

Five years later later in 2006-2007, just as Kent was once again blessed with an ultra-talented squad led by Aaron Brooks, Malik Hairston, and Bryce Taylor, to the Elite 8. At this point, people once again were happy with “Coach” Kent and allowed him to continue his reign of terror on the men’s basketball team at UO. However, there would not be another bailout from an ultra-talented group to help Kent keep his job. After years of recruiting solid players that conveniently got better on their own, Kent was forced to recruit players who already knew his reputation not actually being a coach. Thus, after three more abysmal seasons at UO, Kent was fired as people found that the EKS was too much for them to bare.

Becoming so relaxed in your job as a coach is common (see: Nelson, Don), but it does not mean you need to stop coaching! McMillan has a serious case of EKS and has had it for years now. The SuperSonics and Trail Blazers have allowed his bad coaching habits to go on for too many years and it is time that they stop this and fire the man that has deserved to be for too many years! McMillan has already established his place as a Blazer icon just by being here for the resurgence that went on a few years ago when Roy stepped onto the court. Because of this, he should recognize that he is only driving the Blazers further and further into a hole and quit his job as Head Coach. With the NBA being a place where reputation is king, if McMillan falters any further in Portland, that reputation will suffer greatly. However, if he lies and says he needs to deal with personal matters or the fit with the team is just not right anymore (absolutely true though), he would maintain a solid relationship with the NBA as well as the Portland fans.


Portland needs a coach that will lead them, teach them, and be a real coach. You are a friend to many players, but you are not a coach. Please do yourself and the Portland Trail Blazers a favor and just resign. I promise you, if you do not do this, people will realize and understand that you are suffering from a severe case of EKS and they will fire you. Please do the honorable thing and resign! I appreciate your time.

Best wishes in Seattle or wherever someone makes the mistake of hiring you is,

Haven Kaplan-Miner,

A true Portland Trail Blazer Fan.


3 Responses to FIRE NATE MCMILLAN!-Part 2(EKS)

  1. Jeff Pollock says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Nate need to go and I think there’s something seriously wrong with our training staff also

  2. James says:

    I agree! how many 4th quarters do we need to lose to figure out we’re being outcoached!

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