The New Orleans Pelicans have officially fired coach Monty Williams despite leading them to the first round of the playoffs this past season.
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Williams spent five years at the organisation, leading them to a 45-37 record in the regular season this year which was enough to hold off the Oklahoma City Thunder and secure the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
However, their post-season run didn’t last long as they were defeated in the opening round in a series sweep by the Golden State Warriors, and yet it was ultimately a season of progress.
It clear wasn’t enough progress though, with executive vice president Mickey Loomis revealing on Tuesday that they had decided to part company with their coach.
“Making a decision like this is never easy and is never done hastily, especially when you are dealing with a person of Monty Williams’ character. We thanked Monty for the tremendous work and commitment he made to our organization and the development of our young players, specifically Anthony Davis,” Loomis said in a statement.
“While we continue to work towards improving our roster, we decided that now was the time to make this decision. We wish nothing but the best for Monty in the future.”
Williams went 173-221 with two playoffs appearances in five seasons with the team, and it comes as a shock that the Pelicans would dismiss him given that he has improved the team year-on-year since the departure of point guard Chris Paul.
With the emergence of Davis to lead the team, it is expected that the organisation will make moves in free agency this summer in order to strengthen the roster and ensure that they remain a legitimate playoff team.