Phoenix Suns fire coach Montee Williams after NBA conference semifinal loss
The Phoenix Suns fired coach Montee Williams on Saturday night after the team was eliminated from the NBA playoffs. The Suns lost 100–125 to the Denver Nuggets in the Conference Semifinals on Thursday and were eliminated from the tournament with a 2–4 loss in the series.
The decision to fire Williams was made by Suns owner Matt Ishbia. Williams was the coach for the last three seasons and reached the NBA Finals in 2021 under him. Interestingly, Williams was voted the NBA Coach of the Year in 2022.
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Notably, Williams took responsibility for the Suns’ disappointing exit from the tournament.
“I take it personally, not getting our team ready to play in the biggest game of the year. It’s something I pride myself on and it just didn’t happen. … It’s something that But I have to think deeply.” Everything I’m doing,” Williams said.
Meanwhile, James Jones, president of basketball operations, acknowledged Williams’ contributions over the past three seasons.
“We are filled with gratitude for everything Monty has contributed to the Suns and Valley community,” said James Jones, President of Basketball Operations for the Suns.
According to an ESPN report, Williams had three years and more than $20 million left on his contract.
In Thursday’s loss in the Conference Semifinals, Cameron Payne was the best player for the Suns as he finished with a game-high 31 points, two rebounds and six assists. For the Nuggets, Nikola Jokic was the star as he finished with 32 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists. Jokic had significant support from Jamal Murray (26 points, four rebounds and four assists) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (21 points, five rebounds and three assists).
The Suns thanked their fans in a post on Twitter, which read: “The energy you’ve given us. The passion you’ve brought to us. The unwavering support you’ve given us. Thank you, Suns fans, hearts and Thank you for being the spirit.” Our team is, and always has been, showing up and showing up.”