Jamelle McMillan is set to become head coach for the Motor City Cruise


Back in the 80s, when former player Nate McMillan was about to start his third NBA season, his son Jamelle was only a year old. Nowadays, he’s set to become the new head coach for the Motor City Cruise, which have been the Pistons‘ G League affiliate team since 2021.

The young trainer expects to put pressure on his squad, as he wants to start a revolution that brings Detroit teams back to their championship era. To achieve this, he knows that discipline is the only way foward.

“I think competition is at the forefront. When you think about those teams and that era, everything was about force,” he said after his announcement this Monday. “It was about pressure and about applying pressure in different ways and just competing at all times.”

The 34-year-old, who started his coaching career learning from Monty Williams in New Orleans, says he’s been a sponge around the NBA through his father’s career.

It seems like Jamelle’s objective of bringing back the championship days to Detroit goes perfectly with Troy Weaver’s mission statement, ever since he became the Pistons general manager three years ago. The Michigan franchise has always been known for their defense, toughness and selflessness.

“Those teams were very, very physical, as we know,” McMillan explained. “The roster for the Pistons is structed that way with all the bigs and very physical, big bodies. Big guards in Cade (Cunningham), who has tremendous size, Ausar (Thompson) now as a nice-sized wing that can get up and down the basketball floor. There’s discipline with force.”

Back when he was part of the Atlanta staff, before heading to Michigan, McMillan assured that they always knew when the Pistons were going to be a hard team to beat.

“What Troy has done recently in putting this roster together, just coming from another organization in Atlanta, we had concerns about coming up here and playing this group due to the competitive spirit, due to the physicality of this team,” he said. “You’re going to have to play throughout the entirety of the clock, 48 minutes. That’s a true testament to the type of guys you’ve got here. The type of guys Troy has brought in fits the identity of the organization and what Detroit basketball is all about. I’m looking forward to getting behind that and it speaks to my identity, as well.”

Jamelle shared what he’s learned from both his own father and coach Williams during his previous coaching staff experiences

Throughout his young career, Jamelle has had many coaching fathers. Even though he admits to have been inspired by both his father and Monty Williams, he believes he’s consciously taken all their knowledge and transformed it into his own thing.

“The number one thing for me is not trying to be either one of those guys because that’s a really, really tall task for any coach,” McMillan said. “For me and my approach with coming into this thing, I am who I am. And that should be a representation of those guys naturally just because those guys both represent what I’m about in my everyday life both on and off the court.”

The 34-year-old has only been a part of Monty’s staff for two months, as he was expected to starting spending time with some of the Cruise roster that participated with the Pistons in the past Summer League. Jamelle felt proud of the young core he met in June.

“Unbelievable human beings. Talking to those guys outside the lines, really was able to connect with them,” McMillan said. “They’ve been in the gym the last month. They still haven’t left. The support they gave me when they found out I was taking the position is really reassuring.”

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