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HomeSportsBasketballReports: Pistons fire Monty Williams with nearly $65M left on deal

Reports: Pistons fire Monty Williams with nearly $65M left on deal

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The Detroit Pistons dismissed head coach Monty Williams after one season, owing him the remainder of the $76.5 million, six-year deal he signed a year ago, multiple outlets reported Wednesday.

The Athletic reported team owner Tom Gores made the decision to fire Williams, and new president of basketball operations Trajan Langdon will have the responsibility of finding the next coach.

Detroit finished the 2023-24 season with an NBA-worst 14-68 record, a franchise low, that included a 28-game losing streak.

Langdon and the new coach will be asked to turn around a franchise that has spun its wheels over the past five years, not winning more than 23 games in a season in that span.

Beginning with the 2003-04 season, the Pistons won the NBA championship, lost the NBA Finals and then dropped three straight Eastern Conference finals. Since the 2008-09 season, they have made only three playoff appearances, all first-round exits.

The Pistons have had nine head coaches since Larry Brown led them to the NBA title in 2004.

The Athletic reported that Williams, to hold on to the job, had to present a comprehensive plan to build a winner that met the approval of both Langdon, and ultimately, Gores.

Williams, 52, was fired by the Phoenix Suns last May after four seasons, two years removed from an appearance in the NBA Finals.

Williams went 194-115 with the Suns and won Coach of the Year in 2021-22. He led the Suns to the playoffs the final three seasons there, going 27-19 in the postseason.

Williams also was 173-221 in five seasons as head coach of the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans (2010-15).

He was hired in Detroit, and given a then-record contract, with the expectation that he would turn around a team that won just 17 games in the 2022-23 season.

–Field Level Media

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