Monty Williams Rumors
The Feb. 20 death of Ingrid Williams, the wife of assistant coach Monty Williams who was killed in a car crash that left their five children without a mother and the Thunder without an invaluable voice on the bench. The March 2 death of Aubrey McClendon, one of the original minority owners of the Thunder who was killed in a one-car accident. The murder of Demetrius Pinckney just days later, the brother of Thunder guard Dion Waiters gunned down on his dirt bike in Philadelphia after an argument had erupted. Every tragedy brought with it another emotional hill to climb, the heaviness of it all more than enough to derail them from the nightly basketball task. Instead, as Durant made clear, they grew closer through it all. And when playoff time came, they channeled it. “Man, it’s just staying in the moment, enjoying everything along the way, embracing every moment – good and bad,” Durant told USA TODAY Sports after Game 6. “I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for us or anything, but it was definitely different.
“It was a different season for us. With Coach Williams not being here – he’s such a huge voice in the locker room – to Dion, whose brother was murdered, just knowing the fact that we weren’t in this (playoff) position last year. There’s so many emotions we try to bottle in, and also let it out when we’re on the floor. And I think guys did a good job of using basketball as a refuge, just letting it out and letting that be a shield for everything and just being yourself when you’re out here on the floor.”
So any parting words? Suggestions for the coaching candidates that, Karl said, should include Corliss Williamson, Monty Williams and Nate McMillan? “Whether or not they trade Cuz,” Karl said, “they have to empower their coach. They have to let him coach. It takes a few years to build a program. It becomes a culture, an energy force. Vivek wanted magic to happen, but in the NBA magic happens once in a while, and usually is associated with Larry Bird, Magic Johnson or Michael Jordan. I think you can win with him (Cousins), but my thing is, how long is it going to take to get there? Then, how long before you become a winning team? I think there are faster ways to go.”