The running joke has been that, on balance, Anthony Davis saved Monty Williams’s job (and snatched Scott Brooks’s) when the Holy Ghost of Kobe Bryant descended upon him for a game-winner against the Thunder back in February. Apparently not!
Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Pelicans fired Williams today. This is funny because Williams did get New Orleans to the playoffs in the West, which was his no-shit mandate to keep his job without any allowances for injuries (Anthony Davis was Jesus Christ in hightops, but missed 14 games), and gets canned anyway. The GM on trial-by-combat with him, Dell Demps, finally pulled more control and used it to shove Williams out with one year left on his deal. (Woj is shocked, shocked by this marginally unexpected move, which translates basically to Monty Williams being shocked when he texted the scoop to Woj.)
The Pelicans did improve this season, but if you saw them outside of their usual context of set dressing for AD highlight packages, their deficiencies were obvious. The offense occasionally sputtered to life when you’d get AD isolated with the few shooters the Pelicans could put on the floor, but more commonly it would be a baffling grind with baffling sets that would do things like have two players set a screen for one player three feet from where Davis was posting up. Late games were dog-ass tired AD and Tyreke trying to muscle up enough shots to get by. It worked well enough to make the playoffs and take a dump at center court on national TV, but a team with a player like Davis knows that it only has so long to get a top shelf coach and top shelf teammates.
This is the rare instance of a team not playing out the string with a coach it doesn’t love simply because he didn’t fail horrifically. It’s a good thing, probably, unless Thibs rolls into town in July and AD plays 47 minutes every game and his knees grind down so far his shin bones end up in his ribcage. Actually, let’s just get Alvin Gentry down here. Alvin Gentry should coach every vacant team. He can hang out in Oklahoma City and Skype into the Pelicans huddle long enough to tell Reke to go under the screens on Rondo and pass to Anthony some more.
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