Phoenix Suns fire coach Monty Williams after elimination in ‘Playoffs’

BERLIN, May 14. (dpa/EP) –

The Phoenix Suns dismissed Monty Williams as the team’s coach this morning two days after his elimination against the Denver Nuggets in Game 6 of their Western Conference semifinal series.

“I take it personally not to have our team ready to play in the biggest game of the year. It just didn’t happen. I have to take a hard look at everything I’m doing,” Williams said after the loss.

Williams just completed his fourth season as Phoenix coach, finishing his tenure in charge of the team 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 2022 NBA Coach of the Year after guiding the Suns to a 64-18 league record. The second straight home loss in an elimination game was probably 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 steamrolled by the Nuggets (125-100) in Game 6 again on Thursday. Phoenix trailed by 30 at halftime in both games.

The Suns join the Toronto Raptors and Bucks as teams currently without coaches. Toronto fired Nick Nurse after winning the 2019 NBA title and Milwaukee fired Mike Budenholzer, the coach who defeated the Suns in the 2021 finals.