Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams has finally figured out the questions.
That’s what he said three years ago in his introductory press conference.
Ten years ago, now-Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams started his coaching journey in the NBA with the New Orleans Hornets. It didn’t go as planned.
Three years ago, he was hired as the Phoenix Suns head coach and things still weren’t going as planned. Prior to his arrival there was a timeline for this Suns group just to make the playoffs. He was entering a situation with a young semi frustrated superstar in the making and high expectations for a center drafted number one overall the year prior.
Not a cake walk, but all he was asked to do is get us to the playoffs and get the national spotlight on the Suns more favorably. This came on the heels of the Suns winning 19 games the previous season and firing his predecessor after only one year on the job. Basically a miracle.
Yet here his Phoenix Suns sit with the second-best record in the league. He acknowledged how he was overruled when considering putting Mikal Bridges back in during OT in the victory over Utah. This is Monty figuring out the questions.
His ability to delegate this season whether it’s to Chris Paul or to his coaching staff it shows a level of growth, the growth that he spoke of when he took over the job. And it doesn’t hurt to have a pair of players who should be in the MVP conversation.
He talked about this new ability to listen more and not think that he has all the answers.
In his press conference three years ago, he spoke about culture, building championship habits and everyone buying in. This has been shown on the court with the team excelling on both ends, all while using creative lineups.
He has held everyone accountable from Bridges to Deandre Ayton to Devin Booker and even Paul. In doing so he has uplifted the expectations from not only being a playoff contender but a championship contender.
This is what he meant by championship thoughts, this is what he meant by building a culture a professionalism.
Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams’ ability to unite the team is unique but he has also shown his ability to navigate the fragility of the NBA ego.
Former Sixers starter Dario Saric should be in consideration for 6th man and has bought in to the team first mantra Monty has spoken about. Monty has given time to everyone on the bench except for myself, which is also a smart move.
Devin eats, Paul is in charge and Ayton has been called out by his coach due to his potential and lack of aggression without alienating him. His go-to quote of not getting happy on the farm has tempered expectations for most of this year.
Williams has brought back a little of the shine to coaches who have sat in that seat before. Like Cotton Fitzsimmons to Mike D’Antoni or Paul Westphal, Williams has been a huge part in this team’s success, but right now his only questions are future playoff matchups.
The only question he hasn’t answered is will he win coach of the year?
HELL YES, NO DOUBT, IT’S A DONE DEAL!!!
|Born||October 8, 1971
|Listed height||6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)|
|Listed weight||225 lb (102 kg)|
|High school||Potomac (Oxon Hill, Maryland)|
|College||Notre Dame (1989–1994)|
|NBA draft||1994 / Round: 1 / Pick: 24th overall|
|Selected by the New York Knicks|
|Number||2, 41, 3, 5|
|1994–1996||New York Knicks|
|1996–1998||San Antonio Spurs|
|2005–2010||Portland Trail Blazers (assistant)|
|2010–2015||New Orleans Hornets / Pelicans|
|2015–2016||Oklahoma City Thunder (associate HC)|
|2018–2019||Philadelphia 76ers (assistant)|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||2,884 (6.3 ppg)|
|Rebounds||1,296 (2.8 rpg)|
|Assists||544 (1.2 apg)|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Montgomery Eli Williams (born October 8, 1971) is an American professional basketball coach and a former player and executive who is the head coach for the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Williams played for five NBA teams during a playing career that spanned from 1994 to 2003. His NBA coaching career has included stints as an assistant coach, as an associate head coach, and as a head coach. Williams was the head coach for the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans from 2010 until 2015. He served as an assistant coach with the United States national team under Mike Krzyzewski, and he has worked as a vice president of basketball operations for the San Antonio Spurs. In May 2019, Williams was hired as the head coach of the Phoenix Suns.
As a 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) small forward from the University of Notre Dame, Williams was an honorable mention All-American, averaging 22.4 points and 8.4 rebounds during his senior season. Williams was an NBA first-round pick despite a pre-existing heart condition. He was selected by the New York Knicks in the first round (24th overall) of the 1994 NBA draft. Williams played in nine NBA seasons from 1994 to 2003. He played for the Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Orlando Magic and Philadelphia 76ers.
In 2005, Williams won an NBA championship as a coaching staff intern with the San Antonio Spurs. In 2005, Williams was hired by new head coach Nate McMillan as an assistant coach for the Portland Trail Blazers.
On June 7, 2010, Williams was offered a three-year contract to be the head coach of the New Orleans Hornets. At the date of his hiring, Williams became the youngest head coach in the NBA at 38 years old. In his first season with the Hornets, the team finished with a 46–36 record and made the playoffs. On August 18, 2012, Williams accepted a four-year contract extension from the Hornets (later renamed as the Pelicans). On June 9, 2013, Williams accepted an assistant coach role with the U.S. national team, along with Jim Boeheim and Tom Thibodeau, for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The New Orleans Pelicans finished the 2014–15 season with a 45–37 record before losing to the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the playoffs. On May 12, 2015, Williams was let go after five seasons as head coach of the Pelicans, compiling a 173–221 regular season record and going 2–8 in the playoffs.
On June 29, 2015, Williams became the associate head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder. On June 1, 2016, it was announced that Williams would not return with the Thunder.
On June 4, 2018, Brett Brown announced that Williams would join his staff in Philadelphia as the lead assistant coach, his first coaching job in two seasons.
In May 2019, the Phoenix Suns announced they had signed Williams as the team’s head coach on a five-year deal. The Suns compiled a 26–39 record in his first season coaching them before the season was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Suns were later invited to the 2020 NBA Bubble in order to play eight seeding games, where Williams coached the Suns to an 8–0 record, improving their overall record that season to 34–39. Despite this, the Suns failed to qualify for the play-in tournament to enter the 2020 NBA playoffs.
On November 16, 2020, Williams reunited with star point guard Chris Paul after last coaching him back in 2011 when they were with the New Orleans Hornets.
In 2016, Williams became the vice president of basketball operations for the San Antonio Spurs. On June 26, 2017, while being vice president for the Spurs, Williams was selected as the winner of the Sager Strong Award during the first NBA Awards Show.
On February 10, 2016, Williams’ wife, Ingrid, died from injuries sustained from a car crash in Oklahoma City after her car was struck head-on by a vehicle that crossed lanes after losing control. The couple had five children together.
Williams is a Christian.
Head coaching record
|Regular season||G||Games coached||W||Games won||L||Games lost||W–L %||Win–loss %|
|Playoffs||PG||Playoff games||PW||Playoff wins||PL||Playoff losses||PW–L %||Playoff win–loss %|
|New Orleans||2010–11||82||46||36||.561||3rd in Southwest||6||2||4||.333||Lost in First Round|
|New Orleans||2011–12||66||21||45||.318||5th in Southwest||—||—||—||—||Missed playoffs|
|New Orleans||2012–13||82||27||55||.329||5th in Southwest||—||—||—||—||Missed playoffs|
|New Orleans||2013–14||82||34||48||.415||5th in Southwest||—||—||—||—||Missed playoffs|
|New Orleans||2014–15||82||45||37||.549||5th in Southwest||4||0||4||.000||Lost in First Round|
|Phoenix||2019–20||73||34||39||.466||3rd in Pacific||—||—||—||—||Missed playoffs|