The chemistry in the locker room, and on the court, seemed to disintegrate as well. Aldridge made the All-Star team after quickly recovering from his heart ailment, but point guard Raymond Felton has bounced in and out of the starting lineup, shooting guard Jamal Crawford has openly complained about the way he has been utilized and the competitiveness has vanished.
They trailed by as many as 29 points in a loss at Indiana on Tuesday, then got embarrassed by the Knicks in Madison Square Garden on Wednesday. All six of their losses in March have come by double digits.
“The fight has to be within everybody and not just a few guys,” Camby said after the game.
McMillan leaves with the third-most victories in Blazers history, behind Jack Ramsay and Rick Adelman. He is just the second coach in NBA history to improve a team by at least nine wins or more in three straight seasons and helped instill a new culture of accountability for a team that was plagued by malcontents like Darius Miles and Zach Randolph before he arrived.
The Blazers are the fourth team to change head coaches this season. Sacramento’s Paul Westphal and Washington’s Flip Saunders were fired and Mike D’Antoni resigned from New York.
McMillan and D’Antoni served as assistants on Team USA when the team took home the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics.
The 34-year-old Canales has been with the Blazers since 2004, starting as a video intern and being promoted to video coordinator before being named assistant coach in 2008.
Miller said the search for a permanent coach and general manager would begin after the season.
“(Canales) has great connection with our player, he has great enthusiasm for the game, and we just thought that to give someone like Caleb the opportunity to finish out the season for us was the right thing to do.”
AP Sports Writer Jon Krawczynski in Minneapolis and AP Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney in New York contributed to this report.