Head Coach Monty Williams: Reaction Around the League

Monty Williams Reactions

The Phoenix Suns announced on Friday that they had agreed to terms with Monty Williams to become the team’s new head coach. Media members, players and coaches around the league chimed in with their thoughts on the newest coach in Phoenix.

KEVIN DURANT: “He knows how to talk to people, for one. He knows how to communicate, and he’s honest. That’s lacking in our world in general. It’s just truth… “Especially when you’re talking to him on the basketball court, you have a group of guys that will get better. He has a young core that is hungry to get better and is hungry to have some success.”

JARED DUDLEY via 98.7 FM ARIZONA’S SPORTS STATION’S BICKLEY & MAROTTA: “Monty would be big-time for the Suns. His leadership skills, accountability skills – when he walks in he’s a leader of men. I thought his Xs and Os that I had heard through other players, players respect him.”

BRETT BROWN vis SIXERSWIRE.USATODAY.COM: “Where do you begin? “I’ve known Monty for 15-16 years now and let’s just start with the person. Anybody that sort of pays attention even a little bit understands that he’s elite people, one. I think he’s an emerging, relatively young coach that is incredibly relational… I think he’s prideful in studying how to be an NBA coach with all of the people that he’s been around. I hope he’s taken something from our program and he’s been a head coach in New Orleans. I think Phoenix to me is a completely natural fit and I think that from a gut feel and an outside observation, the Phoenix Suns and Monty Williams will be a fantastic partnership. I think he’s going to be great.”

TRACY MCGRADY via THE JUMP: “I think that’s the right choice… This is a great core group with the Phoenix Suns: Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker. These guys are only getting better. Devin Booker is going into his prime. What better coach to have than Monty Williams who’s a great leader amongst men. He’s great in the community. Great character guy. I think he’ll do wonders for those core guys.”

GINA MIZELL – THE ATHLETIC: “Phoenix landed the guy it immediately targeted after firing Igor Kokoskov following one season on April 22. Williams has vast experience as both an assistant and head coach. But he also brings a reputation of forging deep relationships while rebuilding the culture of a young team… Williams’ hiring was widely praised. [Brett] Brown called Williams and the Suns a ‘fantastic partnership.’ Durant told reporters the Suns ‘got a great leader.’ The first person [Anthony] Morrow thought of was Booker, whom he believes can blossom into a ‘superstar, on and off the court’ under Williams’ tutelage.

GREG MOORE – AZCENTRAL.COM: “You get that the Suns hiring Monty Williams is bigger than basketball, right? This is about what’s best for the young men in that locker room… But this is about making sure that Devin and Deandre and Josh and Mikal and [T.J. Warren] have the kind of mentor who can help them develop as men.”

MICHAEL LEE via TWITTER – THE ATHLETIC: “Good for Monty. Since his dismissal from NOP, his family has endured the unimaginable, but he’s found his safe place in his faith & coaching. AD hated to see him go. Sixers enjoy having him. Devin Booker will love to see him arrive.”

KEVIN ZIMMERMAN - ARIZONA SPORTS: “The Phoenix Suns accomplished what they meant to. Give them credit for that. Monty Williams is their new head coach as of Friday, and according to reports, he was a top target the entire way. That in itself is a win for newly-appointed general manager James Jones and senior VP of basketball operations Jeff Bower. They brought in a former NBA head coach with a decade of playing experience, exposure to a variety of coaching styles as player and assistant, and even a stint in the front office on his resume.”

EVAN SIDERY – BRIGHTSIDEOFTHESUN.COM: “The reputation of Williams around the league is pristine. He’s worked with USA Basketball, plus had the opportunity to help develop talents like Kevin Durant (Thunder) and Anthony Davis (Pelicans). Add Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton now to that list.”

KELLAN OLSEN – ARIZONA SPORTS: “To no surprise, the Phoenix Suns’ hiring of Monty Williams as their new head coach was well received across the NBA. Williams is one of the most well-respected coaches in the league and has many supporters.”

ROHAN NADKARNI – SI.COM: “Monty Williams is a great man, a promising coach, and someone who deserves to be in charge of an NBA team… Phoenix makes sense on paper. The organization has a good history. The pieces on the roster—Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton—have potential. The cap sheet is clean.”

BRENDON KLEEN – BRIGHTSIDEOFTHESUN.COM: “The Suns just hired the most-coveted coach on the market. After Phoenix locked in 76ers assistant Monty Williams on a five-year deal to replace Igor Kokoskov as head coach of the Suns, details emerged of how much of a commitment general manager James Jones and managing partner Robert Sarver made to Williams in his second interview this week…As for what stuck out to Jones about Williams (other than having played for the coach when he was an assistant in Portland back in 2007 and VP Jeff Bower’s past relationship with him), Jones said Williams’ breadth of experience across the NBA and ability to adapt was key.” 

BRUNO MANRIQUE – CLUTCHPOINTS.COM: “The Suns will have a coach that is endeared by players and respected by his peers, one they will trust with the development of this team after winning only 19 games this past season.”

ROD ARGENT – BRIGHTSIDEOFTHESUN.COM: “Not only does he have head coaching experience, but also in his five years as the head coach for New Orleans he coached two very different rosters there to the playoffs. That tells me that he probably can adapt his coaching to the personnel at hand and to changing situations.”

BRADLEY BEAL via TWITTER: “Big time” 

JODY OEHLER via TWITTER – FOX SPORTS 910 PHOENIX: “This is a relatively big deal. Monty Williams is universally respected and has actual coaching experience, two things the Suns desperately needed.”

KEITH SMITH via TWITTER – YAHOO SPORTS NBA: “I like the hire of Monty Williams for the Suns. I like the Suns for Monty Williams.”

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