ATLANTA (AP)The Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday fired coach Nate McMillan, who was unable to follow up on the success of leading the team to the 2021 Eastern Conference finals.

Atlanta general manager Landry Fields announcing the firing. The Hawks are 29-30 and in eighth place in the East this season.

Assistant coach Joe Prunty will serve as interim coach. Prunty joined the Hawks in July 2021 as lead assistant.

The 58-year-old McMillan went 99-80 as Atlanta’s coach, including a 27-11 record as interim in the second half of the 2020-21 season. His success that season earned him the full-time position.

McMillan was frustrated in his attempts to improve Atlanta’s defense, a consistent weakness that weighed down a team led by high-scoring guard Trae Young.

McMillan denied reports early this season that he considered resigning.

Overall in 19 seasons, McMillan has a 760-668 record with the Seattle SuperSonics, Portland Trail Blazers, Indiana Pacers and Hawks.

NEW YORK (AP) -Jacque Vaughn, who has coached the Brooklyn Nets into playoff position despite the trades of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving during another turbulent season for the franchise, has agreed to a multiyear contract extension.

Vaughn replaced Steve Nash early in the season and the Nets announced Tuesday they were extending his deal. Terms were not disclosed, though general manager Sean Marks said the Nets looked forward to Vaughn leading the team ”for years to come.”

The Nets (34-24) are fifth in the Eastern Conference and have gone 32-19 under Vaughn, the fifth-best record in the league.

He replaced Nash on an interim basis on Nov. 1 and took the full-time position on Nov. 9 – after the Nets had discussed the position with former Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka.


NEW YORK (AP) – A former ESPN executive underscored how big money corrupted soccer, testifying in U.S. District Court on Tuesday that his company’s bid to televise the World Cup might have been sabotaged by two former Fox executives accused of bribing officials to undermine competing offers.

ESPN’s former president, John Skipper, told a federal court in New York that ESPN and Univision had jointly bid $900 million – evenly split between the two TV behemoths – for broadcasting rights to the two most recent World Cups, including the recently completed one in Qatar.

Despite ESPN’s hefty bid for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, FIFA awarded U.S. English-language rights to Fox, which bid less.

Government lawyers say millions of dollars in bribes fed a system of clandestine, no-bid contracts that allowed corrupt soccer executives to profit from the scheme and ultimately allowed Fox to air the matches.

Prosecutors allege the payoffs enabled the former Fox executives – Heran Lopez and Carlos Martinez – to get confidential information from high-ranking soccer officials, including those at FIFA. The information helped Fox secure the U.S. English-language rights with a $425 million bid. Telemundo, a division of Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal, won U.S. Spanish-language rights for about $600 million.


EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) – Connor McDavid reached 800 career points and scored his 43rd and 44th goals in the third period to give the Edmonton Oilers a 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night.

McDavid also assisted on Leon Draisaitl’s tying goal early in the third, with McDavid picking up his 800th point and Draisaitl his 700th on the play.

Playing in his 545th game, McDavid became the fifth-fastest player in NHL history to hit the mark, behind Wayne Gretzky (352 games), Mario Lemieux (410), Mike Bossy (525), and Peter Stastny (531).

McDavid gave the Oilers the lead with 7:21 left when his pass deflected in off Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim. McDavid then scored a short-handed goal into an empty net with 2:25 remaining.

McDavid leads the NHL in goals and points with 105.