It’s undeniable that Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams helped turn around the Phoenix Suns after a decade of bad basketball. From 2010-2011 to 2019-2020, the Suns never made the playoffs, but that all changed under Monty Williams.
Monty Williams was hired to help shepherd a young Phoenix Suns core back to relevancy, and he did just that. The run started in the NBA Bubble in 2020. The Suns were invited to the bubble despite being long shots to make the playoffs, but went 8-0 in the eight seeding games and then added Chris Paul in the first few weeks of the 2020-2021 season.
That move proved to be fantastic, as Monty Williams and Chris Paul, alongside young stars DeAndre Ayton and Devin Booker, reached the NBA Finals, leading 2-0 before losing four straight to the Milwaukee Bucks.
And, last season, the Suns had the best record in the league, before bowing out of the playoffs in an embarrassing fashion with a game 7 blowout loss to the Dallas Mavericks at home in the Western Conference Semifinals. That repeated itself this year, as Monty Williams and the injury-riddled Suns got embarrassed against the Denver Nuggets in game six of the Western Conference Semifinals, trailing by 30 for much of the game before losing 125-100.
And, on Saturday, the Phoenix Suns and Monty Williams parted ways.
BREAKING: The Phoenix Suns dismissed coach Monty Williams, sources tell ESPN. Williams was a two-time NBA Coach of the Year in four seasons with Suns — including a trip to 2021 NBA Finals. Suns lost 6-game series to Nuggets in Western Semifinals. pic.twitter.com/bfMd6F1RJc
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 14, 2023
Monty Williams went 194-115 in his four seasons with the Suns, and won NBA Coach of the Year in 2022. But, after crashing out of the playoffs once again, this time after the team added Kevin Durant at the trade deadline, writing was on the wall.
Still, pretty harsh for a guy that turned around the franchise. And, the NBA world has plenty of takes.
Monty Williams had a 194-115 record in four seasons for a Suns franchise that went 87-241 the four years prior and gets fired.
— Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) May 14, 2023
Suns gutted their roster to get KD and they made Monty Williams the fall guy for getting embarrassed by the #1 seed in the West in a closeout game.
— Colb (@___Colb___) May 14, 2023
Monty Williams may legitimately draw interest from half of the league. Some team is going to get a terrific coach and an even better person.
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) May 14, 2023
When Monty Williams came to the Suns they were a joke. Point blank.
What he accomplished alongside James Jones and Devin Booker in a span of 4 years (from 19 wins, to the bubble season, to the Finals, to franchise-record 64 wins) is nothing short of remarkable.
— Sam Cooper (@scooperhoops) May 14, 2023
If I were the Pistons I would get Monty Williams in for an interview tomorrow and try to seal the deal Monday, before the lottery.
I know they already have their finalists, but a proven culture-builder and offensive schemer like Monty would be just perfect for their young team.
— Sam Quinn (@SamQuinnCBS) May 14, 2023
In the meantime, the Phoenix Suns job will be very attractive.