Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Monty Williams Fired as Suns HC After Loss to Nuggets; Won COY in 2022

Tyler Conway

The Phoenix Suns fired coach Monty Williams after four seasons on Saturday.

The Athletic and Stadium's Shams Charania first reported the details:

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, governor Mat Ishbia made the decision to fire Williams.

It also continues a negative trend for coaches who had great regular-season records:

Alongside Mike Budenholzer and Nick Nurse, Williams becomes the third person to win Coach of the Year since 2019 to lose their job this offseason.

Williams was considered to be on the hot seat after the Suns' season ended in embarrassing fashion for the second straight year. Phoenix trailed by 30 at halftime in a dreadful showing in its Game 6 loss to the Denver Nuggets, following a pattern that began a year prior against the Dallas Mavericks.

"It was a bad feeling," Suns forward Kevin Durant told reporters after the game. "It was embarrassing. They came out and hit us in the mouth, and we couldn't recover. We gotta give them credit for being a disciplined team."

Williams was 194-115 in his four years as a head coach in Phoenix. He won NBA Coach of the Year for the 2022 season and led the Suns to the 2021 NBA Finals, which they lost to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Phoenix took a major swing midway through the 2022-23 season, jettisoning most of their depth to acquire Durant, who disappointed for most of the series against the Nuggets. The Suns once again lost Chris Paul to injury in the Denver series, and his future with the franchise is up in the air because of the partially guaranteed nature of his contract.

The roster the new coach inherits next season may look significantly different. Paul and Deandre Ayton are far from guaranteed to return; perhaps only Durant and Devin Booker have solidified spots in the rotation.

Ishbia has been aggressive in the early going since purchasing the team from Robert Sarver, so it's not a surprise to see him go in another direction and find a coach he feels can better lead the team.

According to Wojnarowski, there is "no clear front-runner" to fill the vacancy, although Williams could be a candidate to become head coach of the Toronto Raptors.


Read 0 Comments

Download the app for comments Get the B/R app to join the conversation

Install the App
Bleacher Report