Phoenix Suns hire Monty Williams as head coach
The Phoenix Suns made their first real step forward in a few years by announcing the hiring of Monty Williams as their head coach. No disrespect to Jeff Hornacek, Earl Watson or Igor Kokoskov, the Suns, hired a coach with NBA head coaching experience .
“I am thrilled to welcome Monty Williams to the Suns family as our next head coach. Monty brings a wealth of NBA experience, both as a coach and former player”, said Suns general manager James Jones.
Williams also has two years experience working in the San Antonio Spurs front office.
Keith Pompey from the Philly Inquire and Phillydotcom said, “They’re getting a great person. He (Williams) said he learned a lot from being fired.” Pompey went on to say, “He was humbled. He is going to be missed in Philadelphia.”
In a press conference a week ago, Jones would not tip his hand, although he did say a coach with head coaching experience would be a plus.
Without showing disrespect to any of the other candidates, Jones said on a local Phoenix radio show Friday morning that “Monty is my guy now.”
Williams, who publically was on the coaching radar, along with Tyron Lue, to be the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, untimently decided the Suns head coaching job was a better job by agreeing to a 5-year deal.
Jones who has stated on several occasions that the culture here will be different and that he not only wants the young players to be pushed but wants Phoenix to be a landing spot for veterans. “a 19-year old rookie will get eaten up by a PJ Tucker on size alone” he once said.
Williams has the respect of just about every NBA person that speaks of him. That will go a long way in trying to recruit free agents this summer.
With any new coach, or for that matter, anyone hired in decision making front office position with the Suns, their owner Robert Sarver’s name will come up and the perception or reality that he interferes too much will play a part in any candidates decision. This does not seem like it will be an issue with Williams.
“Robert has changed a lot over the last 10 years,” Jones said. He also stated that Williams wants input from the owner.
One thing that will help Williams is his history of coaching veteran players as well as coaching a rebuild. Although his overall coaching record is 173 – 221, Williams took over a New Orleans Pelicans team that missed the playoffs prior to him becoming the head coach for the 2010/11 season. He then led them to the playoffs in his first year along with All-Star point guard Chris Paul.
Following that playoff, Chris Paul was traded and the rebuild was started. The Pelicans went on to increase their win total every season with 21, 27, 34 and 45 victories. The 45 victories qualified the Pelicans for the playoffs.
It’s the rebuild that led Pompey to say, “Monty is a guy people gravitate towards, the type of person who’s been through a rebuild.”
Nothing describes the Suns better than that. A team that is not just rebuilding with talent but in culture.