Pistons Fire Head Coach One Year After Record-Breaking NBA Deal

More than a year ago, the Detroit Pistons signed Monty Williams to a six-year, $78.5 million contract, making him the richest head coach in NBA history. Today, they are looking for someone to take over.

The Detroit Pistons dismissed Williams on Wednesday after a record-breaking 28-game losing run and an NBA-worst 14-68 record.

Head coaching contracts are guaranteed, thus Williams is still owed $65 million over the next five seasons.

“Decisions like these are difficult to make, and I want to thank Monty for his hard work and dedication,” Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores said in a statement. “Coaching presents many varied obstacles during the season, and Monty always handled them with elegance. However, after carefully reviewing our results and assessing our current organizational position, we will chart a new direction for the future.”

“We are unwavering in our commitment to bring a championship-caliber team to Detroit,” he said. “We will be diligent and swift in our search for a new head coach to lead our exciting young core of players and will continue our vision towards building a best-in-class front office that will help us achieve sustainable success.”

The Pistons had the league’s lowest record for the second straight season, having gone 17-65 the previous year. To make matters worse, neither this nor last year’s Draft Lottery worked in their favor. Detroit received the fifth pick in 2023, but did not select Victor Wembanyama, a generational talent. The team will make another fifth pick later this month.

Williams, who led the Phoenix Suns to the NBA Finals and won the Coach of the Year Award in 2021, was fired in 2023.

Combined with their losing trend, the Pistons never won three games in a row this season (or last), and the roster was always changing. Detroit employed 31 different players and 36 different starting lineups throughout the season, and they lost 39 games by double digits.

The Detroit vacancy is the NBA’s third active one, with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers still looking for coaches.

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