Via the Arizona Republic:
Monty Williams said Friday he doesn’t worry about his job, but can see why one would in today’s NBA.
“From my perspective, you do the best you can and if things don’t turn out the way you want them to, you can sleep and rest because you did the best you could and that’s all you can do, but I’m not closed minded on what I’ve seen in the league,’ Williams said. “A lot of these guys who’ve lost their jobs are good friends of mine.”
A day later, the Suns fired Williams, sources confirmed to The Republic Saturday evening.
This comes after the Suns were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs in the Western Conference semifinals after falling to No. 1 seeded Denver by 25 points in Thursday’s Game 6 at Footprint Center…
“Monty has been foundational to our success over the past four seasons,” said Suns president of basketball operations and General Manager James Jones in the news release. “We are filled with gratitude for everything Monty has contributed to the Suns and to the Valley community. While it was difficult for me to make this decision, I look forward to continuing the work to build a championship team.”
New Suns owner Mat Ishbia made the decision to dismiss Williams immediately after Thursday night’s Game 6 loss to the Denver Nuggets and had general manager James Jones called him on Saturday night and deliver the news, sources said.
Williams won an NBA Coach of the Year award and reached the NBA Finals while helping to resurrect the franchise from one of the league’s laughingstocks into the winningest team in the NBA over the past three seasons.
The pressure on Williams increased from the moment Ishbia engineered the trade deadline deal for Kevin Durant in February, shortly after Ishbia’s ownership group was approved by the league’s Board of Governors.
Ishbia had never warmed to Williams as his coach and decided quickly after Thursday night’s season-ending loss that he would fire him, sources said. Jones has long been an advocate and ally to Williams, but was quoted in the team’s news release on Saturday night saying that “it was difficult for me to make this decision.”