The Suns have unexpectedly joined the search for a new coach, along with the Detroit Pistons, Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors, after they let go of Monty Williams last week.

This came not too long after falling short, four games to two, in the Western Conference Semifinals against the Denver Nuggets. The 51-year-old Williams took responsibility for the elimination loss, despite two of the team’s starters Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton being out of the lineup with injuries.

“I take that personally, not having our team ready to play in the biggest game of the year,” Williams said.

“Monty has been foundational to our success over the past four seasons,” James Jones, the Suns’ president of basketball operations and general manager, said of Williams.

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Former NBA Champion Stephen Jackson expressed disapproval of the Williams situation on the podcast I Am Athlete.

“I didn’t think they was gonna get rid of the coach. I think he was the right coach for the job. But you know how they do,” Jackson said.

Williams coached the Suns for four seasons, winning about 63% of those contests, after being hired in May 2019. In that span of time, the Suns made the playoffs three out of those four years and even made an NBA Finals appearance in the 2020-2012 season. The very next year Williams was awarded the NBA Coach of the Year and coached Team LeBron to a three-point win in the All-Star Game.

With reports of a couple of different teams, including the Bucks, Pistons and Raptors, being curious about his future availability, it seems rather unlikely that Williams will end up too far from courtside. After being a large part of the Suns clawing out of the bottom half of the Western Conference, the former NBA small forward and Olympic gold medalist will now seek an opportunity somewhere else.

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