Suns fire head coach Monty Williams after NBA playoffs elimination

Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams in the first half of Game 2 of an NBA second-round playoff series Monday, May 1, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Monty Williams is done with the Suns after four seasons. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Monty Williams once led the Phoenix Suns to the NBA Finals. He won’t get another chance to take them back.

The Suns fired Williams on Saturday, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, two days after their elimination by the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference semifinals. That disappointing exit left the Suns with some uncomfortable questions, one of which has now been answered.

Williams’ Suns tenure ends after four seasons, in which he posted a 194-115 record. That span was highlighted by a trip to the 2021 NBA Finals, where the Suns lost in six games to the Milwaukee Bucks, who also fired their coach, Mike Budenholzer, this week.

Firing a head coach with that track record is reflective of the high expectations the Suns face with a core led by Kevin Durant and Devin Booker and also the perils of being a head coach after an ownership change. Mortgage billionaire Matt Ishbia purchased the team from Robert Sarver late last year.

The firing might not be a cheap one for the Suns either, as Williams signed a pricey contract extension last summer that was set to go into effect in 2024. However, Williams was reported by Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer to be a potential candidate for the Bucks’ coaching vacancy.

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