Phoenix Suns dismiss coach Williams after another playoff elimination

Phoenix, Arizona - Monty Williams has enjoyed a good run of success as coach of the Phoenix Suns, but his inability to lead the team to an NBA championship has cost him his job.

The Phoenix Suns have fired head coach Monty Williams after yet another playoff loss.
The Phoenix Suns have fired head coach Monty Williams after yet another playoff loss.  © Christian Petersen / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

The Suns fired Williams on Saturday, two days after they were eliminated by the Denver Nuggets in Game 6 of their Western Conference semifinal series.

"I take that personally, not having our team ready to play in the biggest game of the year," Williams said following the loss.

"That’s something that I pride myself on and it just didn’t happen. That’s something I have to take a deep look at, everything I’m doing."

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Williams just completed his fourth season as Phoenix’s coach, finishing his tenure with a 194-115 record, including a trip to the 2021 NBA Finals, which the Suns lost to the Milwaukee Bucks.

He was named the NBA’s Coach of the Year in 2022 after guiding the Suns to a league-best 64-18 record.

Suns join two other NBA teams without head coaches

Devin Booker stands with Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams during the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinal Playoffs.
Devin Booker stands with Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams during the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinal Playoffs.  © Christian Petersen / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

A second straight blowout loss at home in an elimination game was likely the biggest factor in Phoenix’s decision.

Last season, the Suns lost 123-90 to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 6 of the conference finals and were routed by the Nuggets 125-100 in Game 6 again on Thursday. Phoenix trailed by 30 at the half in both games.

The Suns join the Toronto Raptors and Bucks as teams currently without head coaches.

Toronto fired Nick Nurse after he won the 2019 NBA title, and Milwaukee fired Mike Budenholzer, the coach who beat the Suns in the 2021 finals.

Cover photo: Christian Petersen / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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