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May 13, 2015 Updates

For what it's worth, however, a person with knowledge of Brooks' situation said there were no inquiries made regarding Brooks' potential interest in the Pelicans job before Williams was fired. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the situation. USA Today Sports

"He says all the time, 'Whether I'm here or not, I'm going to help you be the best player you can be before we move on or (Williams) moves on,'" Davis told USA TODAY Sports during the Pelicans' first-round series against the Golden State Warriors. "He understands it's a business. Players can leave. Coaches can leave. But at the same time, while we're here together, he wants to maximize our potential and get us better." USA Today Sports

When Monty Williams came to the New Orleans Pelicans' facility Tuesday morning for a meeting with executive vice president Mickey Loomis, he thought the discussion would be about a possible contract extension, league sources said. New Orleans Times-Picayune

Despite meeting an ownership mandate to make the playoffs -- and doing so with a 45-win season that would've made New Orleans the No. 6 seed in the East -- Williams was let go Tuesday with one year left on his contract. And speculation among rival teams and coaching industry sources immediately turned to a head coach who is still employed: the Bulls' Tom Thibodeau, who was a candidate for the New Orleans job when the team hired Williams. CBSSports.com

Long-simmering tension between Thibodeau and the Bulls' front office is now common knowledge throughout the league, and rival teams expect the Bulls and their gravelly voiced, defensive genius to part ways once Chicago's playoff run is over. How long that playoff run goes, of course, complicates matters; how do you fire a coach who leads you to the conference finals or beyond? And if the parting is mutual, what, if any, compensation would the Bulls demand for Thibodeau to jump teams? CBSSports.com

May 12, 2015 Updates

David Aldridge: Statement From Monty Williams: "I want to thank Mr. and Mrs. Benson and Mickey for this unique opportunity I’ve had. My focus today is to appreciate the great journey over the last few years to be the head coach of this team. New Orleans is a special city with very special fans. I appreciate all the support that my family has received from all the great people and organizations we have been affiliated with throughout the area over the years. I need to thank my coaches and players because we take pride in our accomplishments as a group in progressing in the right direction and making the playoffs through the challenges of a long season. I’ll always be grateful for the relationships and thankful that our players always gave everything we asked of them on the court. I only wish the best for this team to continue taking strides forward and providing success to this special city." Twitter @daldridgetnt

The announcement of Williams' firing was made via press release in which executive vice president Mickey Loomis and GM Dell Demps expressed nothing but praise for Williams, who'd become not only popular in the locker room but also influential in the league as a member of the competition committee and, like Thibodeau, an assistant with Team USA. But league sources pointed out Tuesday that the people whose names were on the press release may not be the ones making the decision. Former Pistons executive Joe Dumars, a Louisiana native, has been providing input with the team and has a close relationship with Loomis and owner Tom Benson. CBSSports.com

And speculation among rival teams and coaching industry sources immediately turned to a head coach who is still employed: the Bulls' Tom Thibodeau, who was a candidate for the New Orleans job when the team hired Williams. Long-simmering tension between Thibodeau and the Bulls' front office is now common knowledge throughout the league, and rival teams expect the Bulls and their gravelly voiced, defensive genius to part ways once Chicago's playoff run is over. How long that playoff run goes, of course, complicates matters; how do you fire a coach who leads you to the conference finals or beyond? And if the parting is mutual, what, if any, compensation would the Bulls demand for Thibodeau to jump teams? CBSSports.com

Jim Eichenhofer: Demps on next coach: "We're going to begin that process immediately after this. I don't have a timetable. I'm going to lead the search. Hopefully we can find someone who can take us to the next level... We're going to find the best available." Twitter @Jim_Eichenhofer

 

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