As is generally the case in the NBA this time of year, teams around the league are making coaching changes. There have been the usual bottom-feeder teams that have cut ties with guys who have proven to be unsuccessful, and some vacancies have already been filled.
NBA Head Coach Firings Have Many Confused, Including Spoelstra
Erik Spoelstra shared his thoughts on the recent head coaching fires. pic.twitter.com/Gz6SdmUIMM
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 17, 2023
But there have been a few surprises during this particular coaching cycle. It began with Mike Budenholzer, who was fired after his Milwaukee Bucks suffered a disappointing first round exit.
But while his team ultimately fell short of their goal and in embarrassing fashion, they finished with the best record in the league and were the championship favorites entering the postseason. Budenholzer was just two years removed from winning an NBA Championship, and four years removed from being named the NBA’s Coach of the Year.
Unfortunately for him, the Bucks will now move in a different direction and have already begun their coaching search.
Breaking: The Suns have dismissed head coach Monty Williams, sources tell @wojespn. pic.twitter.com/7VX0u9FUyK
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 14, 2023
A similar situation took place in Phoenix. Monte Williams had been the head coach of the Suns for the last three seasons, and was a big part of the team’s turnaround from a 19-win team to an NBA Finals appearance in two years time. But after blowout losses in elimination games in back-to-back postseasons, Phoenix gave Williams the axe, and he’ll be looking for a new job as well.
There are only a small handful of current NBA coaches who have held their positions longer than 3 years now that certain guys have been canned. One of them is Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, and he gave his thoughts on the current happenings:
“I’ve been thinking more about the great, proven, experienced coaches that have lost their jobs…it doesn’t make sense to me…it really has been disturbing”
It appears that no one is safe. In just the last few weeks, three of the last four winners of the NBA’s Coach of the Year Award have been fired. While it certainly is a player driven league, we have been seeing more quick and questionable firings than ever.
Doc Rivers was also fired this week after three years with the 76ers. He joins Budenholzer and Williams, as well as Nick Nurse, Dwane Casey, and Stephen Silas as the coaches who have been let go thus far.
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