Monty Williams Rumors
Ryan Wolstat: Some Raptors stuff via league source: Reports they were after Monty Williams weren’t correct. Williams called them to recommend someone else
Was it tough to see Monty Williams go and what lessons do you take with you? Anthony Davis: It’s always tough to see a coach go. I came in with that coach and he taught me a lot about the game, about life, about being a man. It’s always tough to see the coach that you came in with leave. We still talk about everything. Just because he’s not coaching us anymore doesn’t mean he won’t be a factor in my life. We still keep in touch and I wish the best for him.
Mark, what do you think about having Gentry’s impact with Golden State? Did you feel that pace was a problem and do you think that that’s the trend going on in the NBA, particularly in the Western Conference, that you have to play fast? And do you think that’s what’s going on, obviously, with Golden State? But how much do you think he’s made an impact being the lead assistant there at Golden State? Mark Jackson: Well, let me just try to answer it different ways, and then you page through it whatever way you want. Jeff has talked about it already. Monty Williams doesn’t get enough credit for the job he did in New Orleans. When you think about making the playoffs, there are so many key players, valuable players missing a huge amount of the season, keeping that team tied together and competing on a nightly basis and then making it to the playoffs, valuable experience. As far as Alvin Gentry, proven coach, knows the game, has been successful. And this is a Warriors team that they played with pace before. They’ve had a great season. And that staff has done an outstanding job and is being rewarded. I wish them nothing but the very best. But what I will say is you can’t take away what Monty Williams has been able to do to that New Orleans team. Sometimes you try to make changes too fast, and it can hurt you in the long run. You don’t appreciate what a masterful job he did during the course of the year. But I’m sure Alvin Gentry is an outstanding coach, outstanding offensive mind, and he’s going to do a very good job in New Orleans.
Monty Williams has reached an agreement to become the top assistant under Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Williams’ low-approval rating with the fans didn’t help, as he was booed by the fans at home games all the way up until the end. From this vantage point, that’s an absolute joke considering what that team accomplished – 45 wins in the West and as competitive a first-round sweep as you’ll ever see. This was a season-long sort of thing, one that flew under the national radar until I wrote about in this piece on Anthony Davis last month. The public pressure was clearly a factor here, and it reached yet another level when Williams made an honest and uncomfortable admission to Yahoo! Sports’ Marc Spears: because of the way he’d been treated at the Smoothie King Center, he told his wife and five children to stop attending games so that they didn’t have to experience all the negativity. It should be noted, though, that the fan voice would likely have fallen on deaf ears in the ownership and management ranks if the decision makers didn’t hear some truth in these consistent complaints.
Eric Gordon, who still lives in Los Angeles during the offseason, expressed his surprise at the recent firing of Pelicans coach Monty Williams. He’s certainly not alone, as the widely-held assumption had been that a playoff berth would be enough to keep the classy and capable Williams safe. But the truth of the matter – one that I deemed unfair in the wake of the move – is that Pelicans ownership and management simply wasn’t comfortable with the idea of giving Williams an extension as he entered the final year of his deal. This wasn’t about a power struggle with general manager Dell Demps or a lack of communication (both of which I’m told didn’t exist), but more the fact that the internal desire for new leadership and a new era far outweighed the idea of making Williams the guy for the long-haul.
After locking in three members of his new coaching staff, Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan is pursuing an ambitious list of ex-NBA head coaches and assistant coaches for the two most prominent roles on his bench, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Donovan has a targeted interest in several potential candidates, including ex-New Orleans Pelicans coach Monty Williams, Chicago Bulls assistant Andy Greer and Portland Trail Blazers assistant Nate Tibbetts, league sources said. Another possibility could be the return of New York Knicks assistant Brian Keefe, league sources told Yahoo Sports