The Phoenix Suns made a shocking move over the weekend following their disappointing playoff exit. Head coach Monty Williams was fired after four years on the job, creating a vacancy that few people have any idea how the team will fill.
The firing came as a surprise. Williams was in large part responsible for the franchise’s turnaround over the past few years from bottom feeder to NBA Finals team, and won the Coach of the Year award just one season ago. The Suns were considered title contenders for the 2023 postseason, especially after the acquisition of Kevin Durant.
Isiah Thomas Could Be Considered By Suns For Coaching Job
“I would not be shocked if Isiah Thomas is the coach of this team.”
– @TheFrankIsola on the Phoenix Suns’ vacant head coaching position 😳
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 15, 2023
But the move has been made, and it was apparently orchestrated by the team’s new owner, Mat Ishbia. It has been reported that Ishbia has taken over a majority of the basketball operations, and was the driving force in the Durant negotiations. According to insider Frank Isola, it may be former NBA great Isiah Thomas who could be Ishbia’s choice to be the team’s next head coach.
When speaking with Brian Scalabrine on a SiriusXM podcast, Isola noted the relationship between Thomas and the Suns’ owner. Thomas has apparently been an adviser since Ishbia took over early in the year, and it is being speculated that his next title could be head coach.
“I’m not saying its going to happen, but I would not completely rule it out,” Isola said in closing.
Upon introduction, Phoenix Suns new owner Mat Ishbia said he would take time and observe.
But having close friend and former NBA coach and executive Isiah Thomas by his side throughout the playoffs suggested basketball ops were under evaluation.
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) May 14, 2023
Isiah Thomas has not enjoyed the same success in his post-playing career as he did on the court. His executive and coaching career is perhaps best known for his time with the New York Knicks, in which he was ultimately unsuccessful under both titles. His time as the coach of the Pacers was better, though his teams were never able to make it past the first round.
Thomas has been out of the coaching game for some time now. His last lead job came at Florida International University, a stint that ended in 2012. His last job around the game came in the WNBA, where he was the Team President for nearly four years.
Thomas hasn’t coached in the NBA since 2008. Should be he hired by the Suns, he will have gone more than 15 years between jobs.
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