Suns fire Monty Williams, Coyotes' Arizona future now in question: top sports stories
After being embarrassed in the playoffs for the second straight season, the Phoenix Suns made a coaching change, and the Coyotes' future in Arizona is in question after voters shot down a proposed plan to build an entertainment district in Tempe, which would have included a new arena for the Yotes – these are the top stories in the world of sports for May 12-18.
1. Suns fire head coach Monty Williams: After getting eliminated from the playoffs by being blown out at home for the second straight season, the Phoenix Suns fired Monty Williams two years after reaching the NBA Finals and a year after he was the overwhelming choice as the coach of the year.
DENVER, COLORADO - MAY 01: Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns watches as his team plays the Denver Nuggets in the first quarter during Game Two of the NBA Western Conference Semifinals at Ball Arena on May 01, 2023, in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
2. Coyotes to play 2023-24 season at ASU's Mullett Arena: The Coyotes confirmed they will play their home games next season at Mullett Arena in Tempe amid uncertainty of the team's future in Arizona after Tempe residents voted down three propositions related to the proposed Tempe Entertainment District, which would have included a new arena for the Yotes.
3. D-backs' Zac Gallen accidentally kills bird with pregame throw: While warming up in the outfield before Arizona’s game at Oakland, Gallen threw a curveball that hit a bird in midflight, killing the animal.
"I don’t really know what happened, honestly," Gallen said. "I just know that the ball changed directions really. I saw what happened. It’s kind of a freak accident. It’s unfortunate."
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 13: Starting pitcher Zac Gallen #23 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the San Francisco Giants during the game at Chase Field on May 13, 2023, in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Giants 7-2. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
4. Brittney Griner plays in first WNBA preseason game since detainment in Russia: Brittney Griner returned to game action for the first time since a nearly 10-month detainment in Russia on drug-related charges ended with a prisoner swap in December. The seven-time All-Star, who missed the entire 2022 season because of the detainment, finished with 10 points and three rebounds in a WNBA preseason game against the Los Angeles Sparks.
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 12: Sophie Cunningham #9 and Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury talk on the bench during the first half of the WNBA game at Footprint Center on May 12, 2023, in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
5. Arizona Cardinals release 2023 season schedule: Amid a busy and controversial offseason, the Arizona Cardinals released their schedule for the upcoming NFL season.
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 12: Isaiah Simmons #9 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates with teammates after intercepting a pass against the New England Patriots at State Farm Stadium on December 12, 2022, in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
The Associated Press (AP) contributed to this report.