The New Orleans Pelicans reached the Playoffs for the first time in four seasons and have their franchise star in Anthony Davis, but they still decided to part ways with coach Monty Williams.

A strange decision, but one that the Pelicans feel will benefit them, going forward.

Via Pelicans PR:

The New Orleans Pelicans today have informed Monty Williams that he will not be retained as the team’s head coach, it was announced by Pelicans Executive Vice President Mickey Loomis.
Williams was appointed head coach of the Pelicans on June 7, 2010 and in five seasons has led the team to two playoff appearances and an overall record of 173-221.

“I have the utmost respect for Monty Williams, not only as a coach but as a person,” said Pelicans Owner Tom Benson. “He represented our team, our organization and our city with tremendous class and dignity. Gayle and I grew very fond of Monty and his wife Ingrid and of course their five beautiful children. We wish him nothing but the best moving forward.”

The Pelicans finished the 2014-15 season with a record of 45-37 and the eighth position in the Western Conference, earning New Orleans its first postseason berth in four seasons.

“Making a decision like this is never easy and is never done hastily, especially when you are dealing with a person of Monty Williams’ character. We thanked Monty for the tremendous work and commitment he made to our organization and the development of our young players, specifically Anthony Davis,” said Loomis. “While we continue to work towards improving our roster, we decided that now was the time to make this decision. We wish nothing but the best for Monty in the future.”


The Wizards have John Wall, Paul Pierce, Bradley Beal, Marcin Gortat as go-to guys at both ends of the floor, but are they missing one key ingredient?

Via Grantland:

The Wizards swear they weren’t playing possum in the regular season — that refusing to slot Paul Pierce at power forward, ignoring the 3-point line, benching their starting center in crunch time, and mothballing Otto Porter weren’t parts of a long con on future playoff opponents.

Randy Wittman is not Keyser Söze.  “I never heard about that plan,” says Marcin Gortat, laughing. “Nothing goes as planned like that,” Otto Porter says. “Things just kind of happen.” 

Things just happen. That’s a fitting slogan for a team with a rebuilding path so haphazard that you couldn’t replicate it if you tried and a future that remains blurry beyond the unspeakable dream of luring Kevin Durant home next summer. The Wizards will have to convince Durant that he is the missing ingredient — that the current core, including the coach, is one piece away from championship contention. Ask a dozen rival executives whether Washington will have a persuasive case, and you’ll find an even split between believers and chuckling skeptics who view John Wall as the lone bankable star on a team that looks better than it is because it plays in the East.