Monty Williams’ dismissal as head coach of the Phoenix Suns only further highlights the brutal business side of the NBA. Everyone already saw it with the firing of Mike Budenholzer as Milwaukee Bucks coach earlier in the playoffs, but Williams’ exit is on a whole another level.
Williams has been the winningest coach in the NBA since the 2020-21 season. During that span, he led the Suns to a 194-115 record, all while taking the team to the NBA Finals once. He also won Coach of the Year (2022) and established himself as one of the best coaches in the league today.
Unfortunately for him, the Suns used him as scapegoat for their latest disastrous run in the postseason. Due to the team’s lack of depth and untimely injuries, they ended up getting eliminated in the second round of the NBA playoffs. It’s not Williams’ fault he was dealt a bad hand, but that is the reality of the NBA. Teams with championship expectations have no room for error, and as usual when they underperform, the coach is the first one to be blamed.
Now, with Williams’ firing, seven of the nine coaches who have taken their teams to the NBA Finals since 2015 are now out of their respective franchises, per ESPN Stats & Info. Only Erik Spoelstra and Steve Kerr have remained.
The firing of championship coaches have been prevalent this 2022-23. After Nick Nurse was sacked due to his failure to lead the Toronto Raptors to the playoffs, Budenholzer and Williams now follow suit.
It will be interesting to see where these champion coaches will end up with. But considering their experience, it’s easy to see them landing a new job in the league sooner rather than later.
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