New Orleans Pelicans fire head coach Monty Williams

The New Orleans Pelicans fired head coach Monty Williams on Tuesday. New Orleans went 45-37 this season, earning the No. 8 seed in the West before being swept by the Golden State Warriors.

Williams coached the team since June 7, 2010, leading them to the playoffs twice with an overall record of 173-221.

“I have the utmost respect for Monty Williams, not only as a coach but as a person,” Pelicans owner Tom Benson said in a statement. “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.”

Williams had one year left on his contract and a team option for another year.

“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,” Pelicans executive vice president Mickey  Loomis said. “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.”

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