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McMillan, Sonics Come To Terms

Seattle SuperSonics coach Nate McMillan has reached agreement on a four-year contract extension worth about $12 million, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported Wednesday.

McMillan, a longtime Sonics player and assistant coach who took the helm after coach Paul Westphal was fired Nov. 26, will be formally signed to the extension by April 1, when Starbucks head Howard Schultz assumes ownership of the team, the paper said.

"They've committed to me, and that feels good because it's a new organization," McMillan said. "They've told me that they wanted me here, and that's what I expect. I just have to continue to work."

The Sonics, 6-9 under Westphal, have gone 23-20 under McMillan, for a season record of 29-29. Tied for 10th in the Western Conference, they appear to be a long shot for the playoffs this season.

McMillan, who played for the Sonics from 1986-1998, had his number retired by the previous ownership, headed by communications and billboard company owner Barry Ackerley.

Schultz leads the new ownership group, which announced its purchase of the Sonics on Jan. 11. The purchase still must be approved by the NBA Board of Governors. Approval is expected at the board's March 30 meeting.

Schultz and Sonics general manager Wally Walker called signing McMillan the team's top priority.

"We could not have a better person and representative of the community," Schultz said. "He's the perfect person to take the team into the future and lead us back to where we want to go, and that is a championship-caliber team."

©2001 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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