Detroit Pistons fire head coach Monty Williams after one season

The Detroit Pistons fired head coach Monty Williams not even halfway through his first season. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
The Detroit Pistons fired head coach Monty Williams after one season. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

After a disastrous first season, the Detroit Pistons fired head coach Monty Williams on Wednesday, Yahoo Sports confirmed. The team officially announced the move shortly before noon.

"Decisions like these are difficult to make, and I want to thank Monty for his hard work and dedication," said Pistons owner Tom Gores in a statement. "Coaching has many dynamic challenges that emerge during a season and Monty always handled those with grace. However, after reviewing our performance carefully and assessing our current position as an organization, we will chart a new course moving forward."

"I have great respect for Monty as a coach and as a person, and I am certain he will be successful in his future endeavors," added Gores. "I sincerely wish him and his family the very best."

This was Williams’ first season in Detroit after four seasons with the Phoenix Suns and a five-season stint in New Orleans in previous head-coaching jobs.

Williams leaves Detroit with five years and over $65 million left on his deal. His team won just 14 games last season, finishing in last place in the Eastern Conference. The Pistons lost an NBA-record 28 straight games last year before snapping that skid in late December. The Pistons hired Trajan Langdon as their new president last month, but team owner Tom Gores made the final call. The new was first reported by ESPN.

At the conclusion of the 2022-23 season, head coach Dwane Casey stepped down and moved to a front-office position, allowing general manager Troy Weaver to make his first head-coaching hire in Detroit. Weaver selected Williams and rewarded him with a six-year, $78.5 million contract with a two-year team option that would top out at over $100 million. Weaver and Williams had a relationship stemming from their time in Oklahoma City.

The Pistons have had four consecutive lottery picks highlighted by Cade Cunningham, the 2021 No. 1 overall pick. Detroit also drafted Killian Hayes (No. 7 in 2020), Jaden Ivey (No. 5 in 2022) and Ausar Thompson (No. 5 in 2023). Hayes started 31 games for Detroit last season but was waived Feb. 8. The Pistons have the No. 5 overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, which begins June 26.

The Pistons last won a postseason game in 2008 and last made the playoffs in 2019.