"Phoenix Suns Fire Coach Monty Williams After Western Conference Semifinals Elimination Loss"

The Phoenix Suns have fired head coach and NBA Coach of the Year Monty Williams after he was unable to lead the team to a victory in Thursday's Western Conference semifinal elimination loss against the Denver Nuggets. "It was difficult for me to make this decision," said general manager James Jones, who made the call to Williams.

The Suns had a fruitful three years under Williams, managing to turn the team from one of the league's worst to the one with the most wins in the NBA from 2020-2022. The pressure to succeed increased after new owner Mat Ishbia acquired Kevin Durant at the trade deadline in February.

Despite being without two key starters, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton, Williams took responsibility for the loss: "I take that personally, not having our team ready to play in the biggest game of the year...That's something I have to take a deep look at, everything I'm doing." With Williams now no longer employed by the Suns, they join three other teams in the hunt for a new head coach: the Raptors, Bucks and Pistons.