Considering the results of this season, were you surprised the Pelicans fired Monty Williams?
Oleh Kosel: Yes, but it was based on more than just the results. Everything that followed, from the Wojnarowski tweet to the Benson letter, seemed to indicate the Pelicans would roll with the same combination for at least one more season. I know Sam Amick's recent article mentioned the Pelicans were in the same boat as the Thunder with Scott Brooks, but I don't agree. Monty's trajectory has been up since New Orleans drafted Anthony Davis, not so for Oklahoma City's Brooks. Also, it appeared he had been given every opportunity to succeed while Monty's time was cut short because the organization wanted to go in another direction, for whatever the reason.
David Fisher: Initially I was quite surprised. Not that I think that Monty is a great coach, but he had a year left on his contract and letting him play out the string seemed in line with most expectations. The timing of it, the letter from Tom Benson, and everything else just did not lead me to believe a move was going to be made this summer. Instead we are in line for a very interesting off-season, beginning with who is selected as Monty's replacement.
Quentin Haynes: I was. I thought after making the playoffs that he would get next year to prove himself once again. Made sense to me to give him an additional season to continue to good success on offense and make an attempt to improve on the defensive end.
Isaac Constans: Surprised, shocked, disturbed. Basically, you could throw in any adjective that meant a feeling of disbelief or disappointment. I did not think Monty was that guy, that guy who could lead us to a Finals appearance or to greater glories. However, I also was repulsed by the notion that this firing was motivated by politics, not performance. If it's true that Monty was fired for his run-ins with Dell, without prior consultation from Davis, then my emotions extend to bewilderment and outrage. Monty was a developmental coach by my assessment, just like Scott Brooks. However, unlike the Thunder, I do not think that the Pelicans have crossed that threshold of win first, future second.The Pels are still in the development department, and I think Monty's presence would have benefited the team for another year. If New Orleans is unable to pull in another coach that Davis loves (his words, not mine), then the Pelicans decision to side with Demps might have cost them a future all-timer.
Chris Cucchiara: I was surprised by the firing of Monty Williams, especially after making the playoffs and putting up a good fight against the Warriors. I so badly wanted Monty to succeed because of the kind of man he is and the example he could be for others. Too many times the great coaches are ones like Nick Saban or Jim Boeheim (jerks), but are elite in their profession. Rarely are there the great human beings that are elite coaches as well. I wish Monty luck and hope for nothing but good things for him in the future. Maybe he can get to the Western Conference Finals after leaving New Orleans.
Jamile Dunn: A little bit but not really. The Pels have never really committed to Monty over his five year tenure. I was more surprised by the fan reaction. Throughout the season Pelicans fans railed against Williams and begged for a change. After his firing they seemed to be upset that he was let go. This is why you don't let the mob rule.