BREAKING NEWS: Suns ‘FIRE head coach Monty Williams’ after Phoenix’s humiliating 25-point blowout defeat to the Denver Nuggets that saw them crash out of the playoffs in Game 6
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The Phoenix Suns have parted ways with head coach Monty Williams, who led the team to the 2021 NBA Finals, after the team’s 25-point blowout defeat to the Denver Nuggets in Game 6 of the second round of the Western Conference playoffs.
The 51-year-old’s dismissal took place late on Saturday, according to ESPN, and it comes only two days after Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Co. capitulated at home against Denver, led by two-time league MVP Nikola Jokic.
Perhaps the embarrassing nature in which Williams’ team crashed out of the playoffs led to some uncomfortable questions, one of which the Suns front office might have felt pressured to answer immediately after the team’s season was all but over.
Williams’ four-year tenure in Phoenix ends with a 194-115 record (63 percent). Under the guidance of last season’s coach of the year award recipient, the Suns made it all the way to the 2021 NBA finals, where they lost in six games to the Milwaukee Bucks, who also fired their head coach, Mike Budenholzer, this month.
New Suns owner Mat Ishbia, who was involved in an on-court bust-up with Jokic this postseason, is setting high expectations in Phoenix, as the goal is to finally bring an NBA championship back to the Sun Valley. The Suns have never brought the Larry O’Brien trophy home since the basketball club’s founding in 1968.
Monty Williams, who led the Suns to the 2021 NBA Finals, is out of Phoenix’s head coaching job
What’s more is that the team’s early postseason exit comes nearly three months after a blockbuster trade for Kevin Durant was completed at the league’s trade deadline in February.
However, Durant landed in the Southwest with an injured ankle and has missed all but eight games before the start of the playoffs.
Often criticized for a lack of leadership skills, the 34-year-old averaged 29 points, 5.5 assists and 8.7 rebounds in 11 games in this year’s playoffs. He was one of the team’s two top scorers, as expected, with Devin Booker leading the charge in both scoring and assists.
The Suns guard averaged 33.7 points, 7.2 assists and 4.8 rebounds against both the L.A. Clippers (Suns won in six) and Denver.
More to follow…