HomeSportsNBAReport: Phoenix Suns fire head coach Monty Williams following playoff exit

Report: Phoenix Suns fire head coach Monty Williams following playoff exit

by Griffin McVeigh
Monty Williams
(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Phoenix Suns have fired head coach Monty Williams. Being one of the winningest head coaches in the NBA over the past two seasons, Williams has not been able to get the job done recently in the playoffs.

The most recent exit came on Sunday, bowing out to the Denver Nuggets. For the second consecutive season, Phoenix found itself down 30 points at halftime in an elimination game. Both occurred in front of the home fans as well.

Since the beginning of the 2021-2022 season, the Suns have been one of the best teams in the NBA. Williams led them to 64 and 45-win seasons but as mentioned, the Western Conference semifinal exits have been a problem.

Williams was hired by the organization back before the 2019 season, being his second opportunity as a head coach. His first came with New Orleans, guiding the Hornets/Pelicans for five seasons but making the playoffs just twice. Stints as an assistant with Portland, Oklahoma City, and Philadelphia helped Williams earn those opportunities.

With a quality resume on his side, Williams is likely to find another job in the near future. But if Phoenix was going to accomplish its goal of winning a championship in this current window, they felt like it was the correct time to move on from Williams.

Phoenix Sunds looking to win championship

The goal in Phoenix recently has been simple. A championship is wanted by owner Mat Ishbia and those in the front office. Having the star-caliber players they do have, the Suns will be looking to bring in a head coach to bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

“Mat Ishbia and James Jones begin an aggressive offseason solely focused on a championship,” Charania said. “And with two top-10 players in Kevin Durant and Devin Booker under contract long-term, an attractive market and driven, dynamic ownership, Suns become the destination coaching job opening.”

Durant spent the majority of his time in Phoenix injured, playing in just eight regular season games with Williams as the head coach. His, alongside Booker, ability is undeniable and the Suns feel like they should be progressing further in the playoffs.

The coaching market will be a tough one to compete in, with other top-level teams looking to fill their spots. Milwaukee and Toronto, both places where championships have been won recently, are available at the time of posting.