The Phoenix Suns have come to an agreement with long-time NBA assistant and current 76ers assistant Monty Williams to be the teams new head coach.
On top of his large amount of experience as an assistant, Williams spent five seasons as the head coach in New Orleans where he only had a record of 173-221, but he did guide them to the postseason two times and in defense of his record, he was only the head coach for one season before Chris Paul was traded to Los Angeles and then he was the coach for the start of the Anthony Davis Era in New Orleans and in his last season in the 2014-15 season he lead the team to a 45-37 record, but in a loaded West they were only able to get as high as the eight-seed, which lead to them being swept by the Warriors in their first title run.
When he was let go from New Orleans after guiding them to the postseason when it looked like they were starting to build something, New Orleans took a lot of heat for the move because they seemed like they were really on the right path.
Williams probably would’ve been a head coach again sooner but in February of 2016 his wife, Ingrid, passed away in a car crash and understandably his career was thrown off course a little bit, but when that happened it was obvious how much everyone in the NBA respects him with the outpouring of support he got.
Mixed in he also decided to take the Vice President of Basketball Operations job for the Spurs before making his return to coaching this past season in Philadelphia.
About the hire, Suns GM James Jones had the following to say, “Monty brings a wealth of NBA experience, both as a coach and former player, in addition to being a high-character individual who will infuse basketball wisdom and life lessons into our locker room. Monty is well respected for his coaching pedigree, leadership and commitment to the community, all of which make him the ideal person to lead our team moving forward.”
Williams has been in the league for a long-time and he has spent time in five NBA cities as either a head coach, assistant coach or front office executive, because he was also an assistant for five seasons in Portland at the start of his coaching career. Over the course of that time you would assume he has gained a lot of wisdom and knowledge on how to run a team.
The Suns have Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton to build around, which are two pretty exciting pieces, but they desperately now need to find a way to get a quality point guard so they can move Booker off the ball, but Williams should be able to help the good young players on the Suns learn more habits that it takes to win in the NBA instead of just putting up good numbers that don’t lead to wins.
Suns owner Robert Sarver has taken a lot of criticism, and deservedly so, but his organization just hired a 47-year old with a good amount of coaching experience that is respected around the league. Never underestimate the ability for things to go wrong under Sarver, but most people would agree that this is a very good hire for the Suns given the state of the franchise.
Williams will take over as the head coach of the Suns at the conclusion of the 76ers playoff run.
Top Photo: Charles Fox/The Philadelphia Inquirer