After four years as Phoenix Suns coach, Monty Williams was fired by Arizona franchise executives in the wake of a loss to the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference semifinals.
End of course for Monty Williams. Appointed to head the Phoenix Suns in May 2019 in place of Igor Kokoshkov, the 51-year-old technician was dismissed by his leaders, according to information from the journalist of the American channel ESPN Adrian Wojnarowski. A decision that comes two days after the defeat of the Arizona franchise against the Denver Nuggets, which put a definitive end to their journey in the NBA play-offs from the semi-finals of the Western Conference.
Became very recently owner of the Suns, Mat Ishbia opted for a change at the head of the team as soon as the setback conceded in this match 6, then leaving James Jones to announce it to the person concerned but also to the team’s workforce. A dismissal that was in tune with the times, Mat Ishbia not giving immoderate confidence in Monty Williams unlike James Jones, general manager of the Suns.
BREAKING: The Phoenix Suns dismissed coach Monty Williams, sources tell ESPN. Williams was a two-time NBA Coach of the Year in four seasons with Suns — including a trip to 2021 NBA Finals. Suns lost 6-game series to Nuggets in Western Semifinals. pic.twitter.com/bfMd6F1RJc
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 14, 2023
Williams knew how to restore the Suns
Arrived in Arizona when the franchise had just finished last in the Western Conference during the 2018-2019 season, Monty Williams has launched a long-term plan to enable a turnaround. After missing the play-offs for just one victory in 2020, the Suns did not go far from a first NBA title in their history the following season. After finishing second in the Western Conference, the Phoenix franchise cruised to the finals with a six-set loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Last season, after dominating the Western Conference, the Suns gave up in game 7 in the semi-finals against the Dallas Mavericks. The arrival of Kevin Durant in the final hours of the transfer window had put more pressure on Monty Williams and that failure ends a four-season tenure which allowed the Suns to recover. After Nick Nurse in Toronto or Mike Budenholzer in Milwaukee, this is the third consecutive dismissal in the play-offs.