Report: Monty Williams fired by Pistons a year after losing Suns job

Monty Williams, who was fired by the Phoenix Suns before landing a massive contract from the Detroit Pistons last summer, has been fired after one year in Michigan, reported ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Wednesday.

His job had been in jeopardy after a 14-68 season by the Pistons and a front office overhaul that saw general manager Troy Weaver be fired and new president Trajan Langdon take his time to make a decision on whether to keep the head coach a year in. But Wojnarowski reports the firing was ultimately made at the ownership level.

Detroit’s season included a 28-game losing streak that set an NBA record.

Williams still had $65 million and five years left on his contract, according to Wojnarowski. The contract was viewed as a historical signing at the time it was made last summer, and it has since been reported it grew to that amount with Williams hesitant to coach the 2023-24 season to spend more time with his family after his run in Phoenix.

Williams went 194-115 (.628) in four seasons with the Suns, who missed the playoff bubble in the COVID-struck 2019-20 season before going to the NBA Finals in 2021 and losing in the conference semifinals in 2022 and 2023.

He was fired months into new owner Mat Ishbia’s tenure in Phoenix. Williams’ playoff exits likely contributed to his firing.

The Suns blew 2-0 lead on the Milwaukee Bucks to fall in six games in the 2021 Finals, then another 2-0 lead on the Dallas Mavericks in the 2022 conference semis. That ended in a Game 7 blowout at home.

Phoenix recovered from a 2-0 hole against the top-seeded Denver Nuggets in 2023 after the team traded for Kevin Durant but lost in a blowout Game 6 elimination outing — once again at home.

Under new ownership, the Suns reacted by firing Williams and replacing him with Frank Vogel, who like Williams lasted a season at his new job before relatively underwhelming results for a team with very different expectations ended with a firing in May.

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