Williams: Suns, Not Lakers, Were "The Best Thing For Me"

Monty Williams explained why he preferred to coach in Phoenix over Los Angeles

Reiter Than You
May 22, 2019 - 8:52 am

Earlier this month, Monty Williams became head coach of the Phoenix Suns, this after rejecting an offer from the Los Angeles Lakers. Williams, 47, told Bill Reiter on Reiter’s Block that the uncertainty and cultural chaos surrounding the Lakers did not factor into his decision. 

“For me, it was never about any other team,” Williams said. “It was about the opportunity in Phoenix – the upside with the talent, the kind of talent that we have here, the alignment with (owner) Mr. Robert Sarver and (general manager) James (Jones), to raise my family. I still have young kids that need training and direction and to be able to do that in a city like Phoenix really appealed to me.”

Williams, a former first-round pick, played in the NBA from 1994 to 2003. He has served as an assistant coach in Portland, Oklahoma City and Philadelphia and was head coach of New Orleans from 2010-15.

“During this process, I talked to a number of teams. It just so happened that it was publicized with the Lakers,” Williams said. “They have their situation. We have ours. I’m thankful that I’m here, and I have a great deal of respect for Ms. Buss. My conversations with her, I learned a lot and I have the utmost respect for what they’ve done. I just felt like this opportunity to be aligned with this group was the best thing for me. Mr. Sarver hired me, and he’s the only person that did. It just worked out for me and my family.”

The Suns went 19-63 this past season. They last finished with a winning record in 2014 (48-34) and last made the playoffs in 2010.