Hawks’ Pierce joins U.S. basketball staff ahead of World Cup

First-year coach Lloyd Pierce and the Hawks finished 29-53 this past season.

Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce has joined Gregg Popovich’s staff with U.S. basketball team, the organization announced Monday.

Popovich, the coach of the San Antonio Spurs, also has Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr and Villanova University coach Jay Wright as assistants. Pierce is replacing Indiana Pacers coach Nat McMillan on the U.S. basketball staff, as McMillan had a scheduling conflict.

Pierce just completed his first season as an NBA head coach, with the promising Hawks finishing 29-53. He previously worked as an assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies and Philadelphia 76ers.

The U.S. begins play in the 32-nation FIBA Basketball World Cup from Aug. 31-Sept. 15 in China.