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NBA: Detroit Pistons fire Monty Williams a year into record-breaking deal

Two-time NBA coach of the year pays the price for league-worst record


The Detroit Pistons have fired head coach Monty Williams just one year into a six-year contract.

Williams is still owed more than $65m after signing the NBA’s largest coaching contract last June, the month after being fired by the Phoenix Suns, who handed him a $20m pay-off.

The 52-year-old is a two-time NBA Coach of the Year from his time with the Suns but oversaw a disastrous campaign with the Pistons finishing dead last with a 14-68 record.

New team president of basketball operations Trajan Langdon is understood to have been instructed to fire Williams by owner Tom Gores and vice chairman Arn Tellem, with the search on for a new coach.

Williams had a good relationship with previous general manager Troy Weaver who was fired during a season which  the season the Pistons tied an NBA record for a 28-game losing streak.

They have the No5 pick in Wednesday’s NBA draft and already had the third-youngest team in the league in 2023/24.

Williams guided the Suns to the NBA Finals in 2022 after a 64-18 regular season record. He was 194-115 (.628) in four seasons in Arizona having spent five years with the New Orleans Pelicans before that, winning 173 and losing 221 games for a .439 record but finishing with a play-off appearance.


Picture of Alex Hoad

Alex Hoad

Alex has more than 15 years' experience in sports journalism and has reported on multiple Olympics, World Cups and European Championships in additional to Champions League, Europa League and domestic football.