Monty Williams won the Red Auerbach Trophy as the NBA’s Coach of the Year in 2022. One year later, he was fired after Phoenix lost to Denver in the second round of the 2023 playoffs.
Fresh off an NBA Finals appearance at the conclusion of the 2021 season, Williams helped the Suns set a franchise record for wins. Phoenix was the first team to clinch a playoff berth in 2022, ultimately finishing the regular season with a 64-18 record.
In addition to winning the NBA Coach of the Year award, Williams also won the National Basketball Coaches Association (NBCA) Coach of the Year Award in both 2021 and 2022.
Phoenix Suns Fire Coach: Monty Williams Fired
Monty Williams was fired on May 13, 2023 after Phoenix bowed out of the playoffs in the Western Conference semifinals for the second year in a row.
The Suns acquired Kevin Durant in the middle of the season, but they had to trade away multiple key role players in order to acquire him. That left the team without the quality playoff depth that they once had.
The Suns also have a new owner, Mat Ishbia.
There is a complex relationship between the high achievement that a Coach of the Year award recognizes and the fast-rising expectations that are attached to subsequent NBA seasons.
Discounting new honoree Mike Brown, five of the last six recipients of the NBA’s Coach of the Year award have now been fired. That includes Mike Budenholzer, Nick Nurse, and Williams – all three of whom were fired in the aftermath of the 2023 season.
Monty Williams Coaching Record
Monty Williams had a 221-134 record as head coach of the Suns. That includes a 27-19 playoff record.
Williams’ overall coaching record is 399-365. That includes a 29-28 playoff mark.
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