Pelicans fire head coach Williams

Reuters News
Posted: May 12, 2015 4:08 PM

(Reuters) - The New Orleans Pelicans fired head coach Monty Williams on Tuesday, parting company with a man who led the team to the playoffs twice in five seasons.

Williams, 43, was appointed as Pelicans head coach in June 2010 and compiled an overall record of 173-221 with the National Basketball Association team.

Under his guidance, New Orleans finished eighth in the 15-team Western Conference this season with a 45-37 record before being swept 4-0 by the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the playoffs.

"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," Pelicans executive vice president Mickey Loomis said in a statement.

"We thanked Monty for the tremendous work and commitment he made to our organization and the development of our young players, specifically Anthony Davis."

Williams had formed a strong relationship with the 22-year-old Davis, a twice All-Star and the franchise's marquee player.

"While we continue to work towards improving our roster, we decided that now was the time to make this decision," said Loomis. "We wish nothing but the best for Monty in the future."

Williams' first season in charge of the Pelicans ended with an opening-round loss in the 2011 playoffs.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)