The Phoenix Suns made a shocking coaching change in the early hours of Friday morning, firing head coach Igor Kokoskov after just one season at the helm. While Phoenix had the second-worst record in the NBA during the 2018-19 campaign, the sudden firing of a first-year coach, particularly the first coach born and raised outside of North America, still turned heads.
As for who’s going to replace Kokoskov, it appears the Suns have someone in mind. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Phoenix is going to make a play for Philadelphia 76ers assistant Monty Williams.
There’s a reason that Williams is the first name tied to the job: He’s reportedly the Suns’ top choice for the gig.
A lot still has to happen before this becomes anything more than rumblings — for example, he’s going to receive a second interview for the Los Angeles Lakers’ head coaching gig — but Williams is a respected coach with experience leading a team. He was at the helm for the New Orleans Pelicans from 2010-15, leading the squad to a pair of playoff appearances. While he accrued a 173-221 record in five years, he was fired following a postseason berth.
Williams is going to get another head coaching job at some point in the future, and if the Suns have their way, he’ll become the latest coach to try and break their decade-long streak of missing the postseason.