It finally happened.
No single figure has split the New Orleans Pelicans fan-base up as much as Head Coach Monty Williams.
For years fans have advocated for his removal and though his recent playoff berth has swayed some of the critics, the front office has decided to move in a separate direction.
This is very good news, not because Monty was an atrocious coach, but because it shows the Pelicans front office is much more competent than what some reports have led us to believe.
Oct 23, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans general manager Dell Demps during a press conference prior to a preseason game against the Miami Heat at New Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Adrian Wojnaroski tweeted earlier in the season that the Pelicans had given a mandate to Dell and Monty which based their job security on the Pelicans ability to make the playoffs.
This was alarming, because it was a potentially embarrassing decision to make.
Effectively, if this was the complete case, then that would mean one single game against the Spurs less than a month ago would have been the deciding factor in the direction of our entire teams leadership.
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With this recent news, it seems like Dell Demps is being given the reigns to choose his own coach for the first time in his General Management career.
Allowing Demps, who has been more than successful in building the team’s roster, choose the man who is best fitted to lead it.
Keep Monty or don’t keep him, but don’t let one game be the deciding factor in which decision you make.
This is strong moves by the Pelicans because it shows the league they are a decisive franchise with a clear direction to go, and aren’t letting their fate rest in anyone else’s hands.
The Monty situation has repeated itself through history as well.
Monty was extremely successful in molding the Pelicans young players, mentoring Anthony Davis, and building a sense of camaraderie, but his coaching was average at best.
Apr 25, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans head coach Monty Williams talks with forward Anthony Davis (23) during the first half in game four of the first round of the NBA Playoffs against the Golden State Warriors at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Keeping Monty one more year until his contract expires would have been fine, but ripping the band-aid off early might be the best solution to a four-year problem.
Mark Jackson was in the same position with the Warriors.
Steph Curry loved him and so did the team, but he was an average basketball mind, and he limited their playoff success.
The team took off this season after utilizing the well nurtured players Jackson had crafted, and placing them under Steve Kerr who was the right analytical mind to lead them to their next destination.
Who the Pelicans elect as their next Head Coach is still a mystery, but this is a decidedly positive move in the right direction for their young team…..