Williams: 'We have to improve in number of areas'

Wednesday, June 9, 2010
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

There is an immense amount of material and quotes from Monty Williams I still have to wade through from Tuesday’s extensive media availability, but in the meantime, here are a few of the head coach’s thoughts from his appearance on New Orleans’ WWL radio last night:

On being an assistant for 2004-05 San Antonio Spurs championship team:
"I was learning on the fly. If I picked up anything it was how hard it is to win a championship. Most people think you just assemble a good team and put them on the floor and it’s going to happen. It takes a lot of hard work. You have to have your guys buy in and trust the system. It’s really hard to win a championship."

On areas of improvement needed:
"We have to improve in a number of areas. There are a number of teams that have to improve their defensive field-goal percentage. Rebounding shouldn’t have to be on David (West) and Emeka’s shoulders all the time. We have to get our wings and guards in the paint. But I don’t want to make rush assessments about the team in June. Everybody knows we have to improve, but I have to really get with the guys and talk to them about what they feel, and talk to a number of guys and share my values and vision. It’s going to take a lot of hard work, and that’s what we signed up for."

On developing young talent:
"I’ve gotten a lot of credit for developing guys and helping them get better, but at the same time, guys bought in to what I was sharing as far as my vision for their game. That’s what I’m going to demand of our guys, that they trust the system. That’s our plan from the start. It will start with me and hiring a staff and trying to implement what we want."

On expectations for 2010-11:
"You don’t go from not making the playoffs to thinking you’re going to knock the Lakers off of their pedestal. You have to crawl before you can walk. We have to take the steps necessary to move in that direction. There are a few teams in the West who have staked their claim (on the playoffs). At the same time, there are some older teams that may start to break down. We have to take advantage of that. But I don’t want to jump the gun and say where we’re going to be in the playoffs."

On his assistant coaching staff:
"I’m certainly going to have to get with Jeff Bower and talk about our staff and how we want to put that together. I have some ideas, but they may not fit this team. I have to really evaluate what I’m thinking and see if it’s appropriate for this team."

On summer 2010:
"Our player development is going to be big. Marcus and Darren are going to have a target on their backs. They have to approach this summer league as if they want to dominate. They have to show that they are not just a flight by night kind of player, but show that they’re going to be in this league for a long time and hold down a spot."

On being accountable:
"It always starts with the guy in the mirror. For this team it starts with me. It’s my job to keep the pressure off the players. If people want to criticize me and my age and lack of experience, bring it on. That means they’re not messing with Chris, David, Emeka or any of our players. At the end of the day you can’t lie yourself. You can front to your boys or your posse or whomever. I have to be realistic about my expectations. I will know why we didn’t reach our goals at the end of next year."