National Basketball Association
Pistons reportedly fire Monty Williams one year into record contract
National Basketball Association

Pistons reportedly fire Monty Williams one year into record contract

Published Jun. 19, 2024 10:33 a.m. ET

The Detroit Pistons are ending the Monty Williams era after one season.

Williams has been let go as head coach of the Pistons, ESPN reported Wednesday

The Pistons surprised the NBA world when they hired Williams in the 2023 offseason, luring him with a record deal after he had been fired by the Phoenix Suns a few weeks prior. Williams landed a six-year, $78.5 million contract from Detroit, which at the time was the largest contract ever for an NBA coach. The Pistons still owe Williams over $60 million remaining on his contract. 

Williams' brief tenure in Detroit was a bust. After opening the season 2-2, the Pistons lost 28 straight games, breaking the record for the longest single-season losing streak of all time. They finished the season 14-68, marking the second straight campaign in which they finished with the league's worst record. 


Detroit opted to reshape its front office following the season, hiring New Orleans Pelicans general manager Trajan Langdon to become its next president of basketball operations in late May. Shortly after, general manager Troy Weaver stepped down. 

The decision to fire Williams was made at the ownership level, ESPN reported. The move comes exactly one week prior to the start of the 2024 NBA Draft. The Pistons hold the fifth overall pick, falling four spots in the lottery for the second straight year.

Prior to becoming the Pistons head coach, the 52-year-old Williams had an impressive four-year stint with the Suns. They instantly emerged from one of the worst teams in the league to a title contender, reaching the NBA Finals in 2021 in just his second season at the helm. The Suns won a league-best 64 games in the following season, which earned Williams the Coach of the Year Award. Phoenix reached the Western Conference semifinals in each of Williams' final two seasons in the desert.

Williams also coached the Pelicans from 2010 to 2015. New Orleans went 173-221 over that five-year span, losing in the first round in each of its two postseason appearances.

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