The NBA is an unforgiving league for head coaches.
It’s become more and more often for NBA franchises to send their coaches packing in recent years, no matter how successful they might have been during their tenure. That became evident Saturday, as the Phoenix Suns fired two-time NBA Coach of the Year winner Monty Williams, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The end of Williams’ tenure leading the Suns isn’t totally shocking. Phoenix underwent an ownership change during the 2022-23 NBA season, which is never a good sign for coaches who already have expectations to meet. The Suns also severely underwhelmed, as their trade for Kevin Durant resulted in nothing more than what they had achieved without the 13-time All-Star.
It does come as an unfortunate reminder of how cutthroat business in the league can be, as the decision made NBA history.
The decision comes just nine days following the Milwaukee Bucks’ dismissal of Mike Budenholzer, marking the first time two coaches from an NBA Finals matchup were both fired within two seasons. Budenholzer and the Bucks defeated Williams’ Suns in the 2021 NBA Finals.
The stats only get worse, as none of the coaches who led their team to the NBA’s best record over the past six seasons are currently employed by that team, according to ESPN Stats and Information, with Budenholzer (3x), Williams, Quin Snyder and Mike D’Antoni all receiving the boot.
It’s a cold, cold world.