League sources said the Suns are parting ways with coach Monte Williams after four seasons the athlete on saturday. Here’s what you need to know:
- The Suns fell to the Nuggets in six games of the Western Conference Semifinals, losing Game 6 by 25 points.
- Phoenix made the 2021 NBA Finals after a season in which Williams led the team to 17 wins.
- The Suns went 194-115 in the regular season and 27-19 in the postseason under Williams.
the athleteInstant Analysis:
The Suns will not win a title this season. Their seats were inadequate and their defense was shady. Their health is disrupted. Most of all, they needed more time to build their chemistry with Kevin Durant. However, none of this excused their collapse in Game 6, the second year in a row that they were blown at home in an elimination game.
Williams did great things in Phoenix, guiding the Suns out of a 10-year drought and leading them to the 2021 NBA Finals. But Phoenix’s recent postseason shortcomings lie with him. The Suns were good enough to win the title in 2022 but lost to Luka Donjic and Dallas in the Western Conference Semifinals.
This season, Williams has played eight matches to clinch his first five starts and the rotation before the playoffs. And then once he settled on something, he changed it up in game one of the first round. Durant and Devin played poker for several minutes. Its rotation changed from game to game. Williams came at just the right time in the desert. It was exactly what the organization needed. But sometimes, to reach a higher level, a new sound and a new direction are needed. – Haller
How Matt Ishpia’s tenure signaled change
Matt Ishpia became a billionaire in the mortgage business by being a hands-on leader. He calls it “being in the weeds.” It is his process, his path to success. He knows no other way. As a first-year NBA owner, it should come as no surprise that he’s making changes. When applying, Ichpia said he would take some time and notice.
But the presence of close friend and former NBA coach and CEO Isiah Thomas by his side throughout the playoffs indicated that the basketball games were being evaluated. Durant’s trade was made to help Phoenix win its first championship. It was a bold move, which comes with an expiration date. Although Booker is still young, at just 26 years old, Durant turns 35 in September. The Suns championship window won’t be open for long. Ishbia does not wait. – Haller
A first-round pick in 1994 by New York, Williams began training in the 2004-05 season as an apprentice with the Spurs after nine years of playing time.
His first coaching role came in 2010 with New Orleans, resulting in two playoff appearances in five seasons before being fired.
He was hired by the Suns in 2019 on a five-year deal as Phoenix was coming off a 19-win season. Within three years, he led the Suns to a 64-win franchise season.
The Suns had postseason entry championship aspirations after Durant was dealt at the trade deadline. Phoenix also saw their 2021-22 season end in the semifinals with a similar blowout loss to the Mavericks.
(Photo: Mark J. Rebellas/USA Today)