After a year on the Sixers‘ bench assisting Brett Brown, Monty Williams went into the offseason as a highly coveted coaching candidate and had meetings with the Suns and Lakers. While the Lakers reportedly had Williams near the top of their wish list, Phoenix ended up hiring him, and the Suns’ coach said that Los Angeles never officially made him an offer, as Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Time relays.
“They didn’t make me an offer, Mr. Sarver [Robert Sarver, the Suns’ owner] made me an offer, so it wasn’t part of my thinking,” Williams said. “I had conversations with the Lakers, they were really gracious. I was humbled to sit down with [Lakers owner] Jeanie Buss and that whole crew but it never came down to that. The Suns offered me a great opportunity and I took it.”
Williams joined Phoenix on a five-year contract and early returns have been promising. The Suns are off to their best start in the Devin Booker era and Anthony Davis, who played under Williams when he was the coach of the Pelicans, was among the few to see this coming.
“The league wasn’t as fast as it is now with the way things have changed,” Davis said. “He always wanted to play fast. He brought guys in who knew the game of basketball who were tough and physical and surrounded Devin Booker with a lot of guys that know how to play the game. So I expected nothing less from him coming in.”
The 2019 offseason won’t be remembered for the fierce battle (or lack thereof) for Williams’ services but it’s turning out to be among the major storylines early in the 2019/20 season. Phoenix has a 6-3 record heading into its matchup with Los Angeles.
“He wanted to be back on the front of the bench and be a head coach,” Davis continued. “He’s proving why he should be there.”