After consecutive second-round exits, head coach Monty Williams has been fired by the Phoenix Suns. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports that Williams was relieved of his duties by new owner Mat Ishbia.
The Suns were eliminated by the Denver Nuggets in a crushing Game 6 loss, marking the second straight season they have been sent packing after a blowout in the playoffs.
Monty Williams success in the regular season didn’t translate to playoffs
Last year, Phoenix entered the playoffs with the league’s best record but was demolished at home by the Dallas Mavericks in a haunting Game 7.
Williams won Coach of the Year honors after leading Phoenix to a staggering 64-18 record in the 2021-22 season, culminating in a trip to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games.
With a regular-season record of 194-115, Williams wraps up his four-year tenure in the Valley of the Sun.
Previously, he had served as an assistant coach in Oklahoma City and Philadelphia before becoming the head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans (then called the Hornets) from 2010 to 2015.
What’s next for Phoenix Suns after Monty Williams?
The Phoenix Suns have made quite a stir in the basketball world with the decision to fire Monty Williams, leaving many to wonder what new owner Mat Ishbia has in store for the team. One thing is sure: Ishbia is not afraid to take bold action and make significant changes.
Only time will tell who will be the next to take on this challenge and lead the Phoenix Suns to greatness. But, as the excitement and anticipation builds, fans can only hope for the best outcome for their beloved team.
Why we believe Ty Lue is the frontrunner to replace Monty Williams
Clippers head coach Ty Lue has navigated the team through a slew of setbacks, with injuries plaguing star players like Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
With Lue at the helm, the Clippers secured a conference finals appearance in 2021, where they did succumb to Monty Williams and the Suns.
Ishbia recently observed Lue’s impressive coaching acumen during Phoenix’s first-round victory over his L.A. squad. Recognizing Lue’s evident potential, Ishbia remained vigilant for the opportunity to recruit the shrewd tactician.
Lue’s legacy stems from his remarkable achievements as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, notably leading the team to a championship victory in 2016 following a near-impossible 3-1 series deficit. With accolades brimming in Lue’s trophy cabinet, his subsequent pursuit is already generating buzz throughout the league.
Ishbia’s contempt for Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cavaliers, is no secret- the two are arch-rivals. So a masterstroke for Ishbia to stick it to Gilbert would be to hire Gilbert’s previous head coach and triumph with him.