Pistons’ Weaver: ‘Monty(Williams) represented the ideal prototype for our young team’

The Detroit Pistons are looking to build a roster that can compete for many years to come, and on Friday, they announced that former Suns head coach Monty Williams, who turned the Suns around, would be the team’s head coach.

Detroit invested heavily in Williams. According to Shams Charania, it’s a six-year, $72 million deal, which could reach $100 million based on team options and incentives.

Williams will be introduced at a news conference next week.

According to the team, Williams had already initiated the transition and begun scheduling player meetings and staff development.

The 51-year-old Williams spent Memorial Day Weekend meeting with Pistons owner Tom Gores and GM Troy Weaver, and ultimately they came to an agreement.

“I couldn’t be more proud to have Monty joining us at this important time to lead us into the next decade of our future,” said Pistons owner Tom Gores via a press release. “He embodies all of the qualities we want in a leader for our Pistons franchise and, most importantly, a teacher and mentor for our players. He will have an impact on every aspect of our franchise, on and off the court.

Weaver, who spent time with Williams in OKC, added: “After spending some time with Monty, it’s clear that he’s found a unique balance between achieving victory at the highest level while at the same time nurturing a culture of growth, development, and inspiration,” Gores said. “I’m beyond excited. This is a huge win for us.”

Williams was still determining whether he would coach next season. However, after hearing the vision laid out by Gores and Weaver, he decided he wanted to be a part of that vision.

“A week ago, I was not sure what the future would hold,” Williams said. “But, after talking with Tom and Troy, I was excited hearing their vision for the Pistons going forward. They had a thoughtful plan, and I am so appreciative of the emphasis they placed on the personal side of this business. They showed tremendous consideration for me and my family throughout this process.

“They also showed a commitment to success and doing things the right way,” he said. “As we discussed the team and expressed our collective goals, I realized that this would be a great opportunity for me to help a talented young team and build a strong culture here in Detroit. This is obviously a special place with a deep basketball history, and my family and I are looking forward to the opportunity to be a part of this city and organization.”

The Pistons were excited when Williams, who the Suns fired at the end of their season, became available.

“Monty represented the ideal prototype for our young team, but we didn’t expect him to be available,” Weaver said. “When he suddenly became available, we jumped at the opportunity to speak with him. That doesn’t mean the others in our process were not strong candidates. They were. But Monty is the prototype.”

In his four seasons with the Suns, Williams helped turn things around. The Suns won 34 games during his first season on the job in 2019-20, a 15-game improvement, and 51 during his second year. He led Phoenix to the NBA Playoffs in each of the past three seasons, including a trip to the NBA Finals in 2020-21.  

Williams guided Phoenix to the Western Conference Semifinals this past season and was named 2022 NBA Coach of the Year after leading the Suns to an NBA-best and franchise record 64 wins during the 2021-22 season.  

Prior to his appointment with Phoenix, he served as head coach of the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans from 2010-15. Williams led New Orleans to the playoffs twice in his five seasons, and his 2014-15 team finished eighth in offensive rating.

Williams played nine seasons in the NBA with the Knicks, Spurs, Nuggets, Magic, and 76ers. 

Suns fire head coach Monty Williams

The Phoenix Suns have parted ways with Head Coach Monty Williams, the team announced Saturday night.

Over the past two seasons, the Suns were eliminated in the second round, and in those elimination games, they were routed by the Mavericks last season and the Nuggets this season on their home court.

Williams, 51, spent the past four seasons in Phoenix, and during his time with the Suns, the team made the Finals in the 2021 season, and he helped change the culture.

He had a record of 194-115 with the Suns.

Over the past three seasons, which included him winning Coach of the Year in 2021, Williams was the winningest coach in the NBA.

“Monty has been foundational to our success over the past four seasons,” said President of Basketball Operations and General Manager James Jones via a press release. “We are filled with gratitude for everything Monty has contributed to the Suns and to the Valley community.

“While it was difficult for me to make this decision, I look forward to continuing the work to build a championship team.”

Phoenix has a solid core of Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, and Chris Paul, but with new ownership, who are looking to win now, you get the sense they may make some changes to this roster.

Suns’ Booker named Western Conference Player of the Month, Williams named Western Conference Coach of the Month

After guiding the Suns to a Western Conference-best 15-6 record to begin the season, Suns head coach Monty Williams and guard Devin Booker were both shown some love from the NBA.

Williams was named Western Conference Coach of the Month, and Booker has been named Western Conference Player of the Month for October/November, the league announced Thursday.

With Williams at the helm, the Suns currently sit atop the Western Conference standings and are now riding an NBA-best six-game win streak while holding a league-best 12-1 record at home. 

This marks Williams’ fifth time winning Western Conference Coach of the Month and the fourth time with the Suns.

Booker is getting it done!

In Wednesday’s win over Chicago, Booker added six assists and four rebounds to his 51 points while shooting 20-of-25 from the field. His 51 points were the most ever scored by a Suns player inside Footprint Center. In addition, he joined James Harden (Nov. 5, 2017) as the only players over the last 25 years with 50 points on 80 percent shooting or better through the first three-quarters of a game.

Booker is averaging a career-best 29.0 points, 5.8 assists, and 5.3 rebounds over the first 21 games of the season while shooting 48.9 percent from the field, 37.8 percent from three-point range.

The three-time All-Star has notched three double-doubles so far this season and is coming off a season-high 51-point performance on Nov. 30 against the Bulls. 

The performance came two days after Booker tallied 44 points, eight rebounds, and six steals, which matched his career high, in a win at Sacramento earlier in the week. Booker averaged 47.5 points between the two games on 69.8 FG%, 6.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 3.5 steals.

This marks Booker’s second-career Western Conference Player of the Month honor.

Monty Williams: ‘It’s a blessing to be head coach of the Phoenix Suns’

The Phoenix Suns and head coach Monty Williams have agreed to a multi-year contract extension, the team announced Wednesday.

Williams, 50, had two years left on his original five-year deal.

“Monty has raised the standard for our organization and overseen the transformation of our team’s culture since he joined as head coach three years ago,” said General Manager James Jones via a statement from the team announcing the move. “We’re excited to announce this extension and look forward to continuing to build upon this success in the years ahead.”

The 2021-22 NBA Coach of the Year, in addition to being selected by his peers as the NBCA Coach of the Year winner for both 2020-21 and 2021-22, Williams is heading into his fourth season as the Suns’ head coach since joining the organization in 2019. 

In his first three seasons as head coach, the Suns have become the first team in NBA history to increase their win total by at least 13 wins in three consecutive seasons, recording one Western Conference title, two Pacific Division titles, and two playoff appearances. 

Last season, Williams and the Suns set a franchise record by winning 64 games and finished with the NBA’s best record by eight games above the second best. However, the season ended in disappointment as Phoenix lost to the Mavericks in 7 in the second round of the playoffs.

“I’m grateful to extend my commitment to this team and to all the people who make it a special place,” said Williams. “Our players put in the work every day that allows us to be successful, and I’m excited to continue this journey with them. I appreciate the constant effort of our staff and every member of the Suns organization; it is a joy to work alongside them all. Our fans are incredible and have made my family, and I feel so welcome in the Valley. I’m thankful for them and look forward to continue to work in the community here.

“This is a get to, not a got to. It’s a blessing to be head coach of the Phoenix Suns.”

In 2020-21, Williams led the Suns to the NBA’s second-best record and the team’s first Pacific Division title since 2007. This preceded a memorable playoff run in which the Suns won a franchise postseason record nine straight games on the way to the third Western Conference title in team history and first since 1993. Unfortunately, the Suns would lose to the Bucks in the NBA Finals.

Suns add Patrick Mutombo to coaching staff

The Phoenix Suns have added Patrick Mutombo as an assistant coach. In addition, Randy Ayers will transition from assistant coach to coaching advisor on the team’s staff, the Suns announced Tuesday.

According Suns head coach Monty Williams, this move allows Ayers to spend more time with his family.

“Randy has been instrumental to our success the past three seasons and he will continue to play an important role in his new position,” said Williams via press release from team. “This move will allow him to be closer to and spend more time with his family while remaining an invaluable member of our coaching staff. I’m grateful for everything Randy has contributed, on and off the court, since joining me on my first day as a head coach in New Orleans.”

Mutombo, 42, joins Phoenix following two seasons as the head coach of the Toronto Raptors’ G League affiliate, Raptors 905. At the helm of 905, he guided the team to the G League’s best regular season record in back-to-back seasons, totaling a 36-11 total record over his two seasons as a head coach. Mutombo finished as the runner-up for NBA G League Coach of the Year in each of his two seasons with 905.

Prior to taking over as head coach for Raptors 905, Mutombo spent several seasons as an assistant coach in the NBA and G League, including time with the Denver Nuggets, Austin Spurs and Toronto Raptors, where he was a member of the staff during the team’s 2019 NBA Championship season. Before entering the NBA ranks as an assistant coach, Mutombo began his coaching career as an assistant with his alma mater, Metropolitan State University of Denver, in 2011.

Mutombo was a standout player at Metro State and played professionally in Italy, Brazil and Greece, before ending his playing career with the Bakersfield Jam of the G League.

Mavs’ Doncic on winning Game 7: ‘I can’t get this smile off my face’

“Game 7 typically goes to the best player, and I believe we have that in this series. It’s going to be an exciting clash of styles.”

–Spencer Dinwiddie, Dallas Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks went into Phoenix against the Suns, who had the best record in basketball this season, looking to win Game 7 of their Western Conference second-round series Sunday night. Dallas had not won on the road in this series and have not won in Phoenix since 2019, but as Dinwiddie said, Dallas had the best player in the series, and that was the difference.

The best player in this series, Luka Doncic, scored 27 of his game-high 35 points in the first half to go along with 10 rebounds; Spencer Dinwiddie added 21 of his 30 points in the first half. Jalen Brunson chipped in with 24 points as the Mavs defeated the Suns 123-90 at Footprint Center to advance to the Western Conference Finals to battle the Golden State Warriors. 

The trio of Doncic, Dinwiddie, and Brunson combined for 89 points.

Game 1 of the Western Conference finals is Wednesday night at Chase Center.

Doncic and the Suns had the same amount of points(27) at the half. Dallas led by 30 at the break(57-27) and had their largest lead of 46 points in the third. Dallas, who was down 2-0 in this series, defeated the Suns by an average of 30 points in Games 6 and 7. 

According to ESPN Stats & Info, the Mavericks’ 33-point win over the Suns was the second-largest win in a series-clinching game versus the best team in the NBA in league history.

Dinwiddie was right about Doncic being the best player in this series as he scored more points than Devin Booker, grabbed more rebounds than Deandre Ayton, dished out more assists than Chris Paul, and had more steals than Mikal Bridges.

Doncic could not stop smiling after beating the Suns in Game 7.

“I can’t get this smile off my face,” he said. “I’m just really happy. Honestly, I think we deserved this.”

Dallas played one of its better games of the season, while the Suns played their worst. Booker(11) and Paul(10) combined for only 21 points, including three points at halftime. In addition, Phoenix shot only 24% in the first half, including 21% from deep. 

Phoenix couldn’t make shots; they couldn’t stop the Mavericks, and in the end, they wasted a 64-win season.

“That was good old fashion a** whipping,” Booker said. 

Suns head coach Monty Williams added: “I know they didn’t want to play that way. We basically played the worst game of the season tonight. That group has a lot of character and integrity, and I know how bad they wanted it.”

The Suns will look back at this series and this season and be very disappointed. At 37, Paul, who is only getting older, looked worn down in this series. In addition, they’ll have to figure out what they will do with Deandre Ayton, who can be a restricted free agent and played only 17 minutes Sunday night. The main goal for Phoenix was to return to the Finals and win a championship. Obviously, that’s not happening. 

Regarding the Mavs, they’re playing good defense and getting stellar play from Doncic. They have a legitimate shot at beating the Warriors as they won the season series 3-1. The Mavs will compete, and we’ll see if they can go back to the NBA Finals for the time since 2011.





Suns’ Williams: ‘If there’s one award that exemplifies team, it’s the Coach of the Year award’

Last season, when Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams did not win NBA Coach of the Year, many of his players were not happy, so they did something about it.

This season, the Phoenix Suns were even better as they had the best record in basketball, which helped Williams get the award.

On Monday, Williams was named NBA Coach of the Year.

Williams received 458 points (81 first-place votes) from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins finished in second place with 270 points (17 first-place votes).  

According to Willians, this award is not about him but the team.

“If there’s one award that exemplifies team, it’s the Coach of the Year award because there’s not a coach in the NBA that has bad intentions for the program or the players,” Williams said. “Nobody walks in the gym saying and hope that their guys to play poorly… In order to get an award like this, it takes a lot of people.”

The Suns had a 64-18 record in the regular season, the most victories, and the highest winning percentage (.780) in a season in franchise history. 

Phoenix won a franchise-record 18 consecutive games from Oct. 30 – Dec. 2, 2021. The streak included a 16-0 record in November, tied for the second-most wins in a month without a loss in NBA history, trailing only the Atlanta Hawks’ 17-0 record in January 2015.

This is Williams’ third season as the Suns’ head coach. Last season, he guided Phoenix to a 51-21 record and its first appearance in the NBA Finals since the 1992-93 season, finishing in second place in the voting for the 2020-21 NBA Coach of the Year Award. 

Currently, the Suns and Mavericks’ Western Conference second-round series is tied at 2. The pivotal Game 5 is Tuesday night in Phoenix.

The voting results for the 2021-22 NBA Coach of the Year Award are below:

Mavs’ Doncic in Game 3 win: ‘I knew I had to do better’

In the first two games of their Western Conference second-round series against the Phoenix Suns, the Dallas Mavericks were all about Luka Doncic and no one else. 

Coming into Game 3, Doncic was averaging 40 points per contest in this series, but Dallas needed others to come to the party.

Doncic got his in Game 3 with 26 points, 13 rebounds, and nine assists, but Jalen Brunson recorded a game-high 28 points; Reggie Bullock added 15 points, Dorian Finney-Smith chipped in with 14 points, and Maxi Kleber collected 14 points off the bench as the Mavs defeated the Suns 103-94 at American Airlines Center.

With the win, Dallas snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Suns. The Mavericks still trail in the series 2-1, with an opportunity to even the series on Sunday.

“I thought it was a great team win,” Kidd said. “(Jalen Brunson), Spencer [Dinwiddie], Maxi [Kleber], Luka [Dončić], Reggie [Bullock], (Dorian Finney-Smith) – everyone joined the party, they helped out on both ends. And then Luka was great defensively; he participated, too. It puts us in a different position when that happens.”

Doncic had 24 points in the first half in Game 2 but scored only 11 in the second half, and Dallas allowed Phoenix to score 40 points in the fourth on 84% shooting from the field. In Game 3, Doncic felt he needed to be better on both ends of the court. 

“I wouldn’t say motivation, but I knew I had to do better,” Doncic said. “I knew I could do better; I think that I have made a big jump on defense this year, and the second half was more by me, and I knew I had to get back to my team and play better defense.”

Dallas held Phoenix to 45% shooting from the field, marking the first game of the postseason (of nine outings) that Phoenix has been held to less than 50% from the field. In addition, the Mavs forced 17 turnovers, which led to 22 points.

On his 37th birthday, they forced seven Chris Paul turnovers.

“Happy birthday (Chris Paul),” Kidd said. “I think when you look at it, we were active. Our hands were active; we got deflections that led to steals. We came out aggressive. There was carryover from Game 2 in those first three quarters, and we played 48 minutes tonight. It’s a great win, but now this game is over. It’s a quick turnaround here for Sunday.”

Paul felt the turnovers were the difference in the game.

“If I don’t turn the ball over like that, I feel like it’s a different game, so give them a lot of credit,” Paul said.” They came out and did what they were supposed to do. We’ll be back on Sunday.”

Suns head coach Monty Williams did not like how the team’s offense flowed in Game 3.

“I’m sure there was a bit more pressure on the ball or hands in lanes to get the flex and that kind of thing,” he said. “I didn’t feel like we had a rhythm tonight on offense, to be straight with you all. You saw flashes, but we just didn’t have the same kind of offensive connection that we had in Phoenix. Some of that is to be expected when you are playing against a team, and you are up two games, you know they are going to come out and hit you in the mouth. I thought we could have settled down a little bit more on offense, especially when we have the ball jumping around the gym the way we did from a turnover perspective.”

This was a great effort from the Mavs on both ends, especially on defense. Playing big-time defense and getting big efforts from Doncic and others is why Dallas was successful this season. They have to use that same formula to win Game 4 and this series.


-All five of the starters for Phoenix scored in double figures. Jae Crowder led the way with 19 points (5-8 3FG), seven rebounds, and five assists.

Suns’ Ayton on Paul’s performance in Game 1 vs. Pelicans: ‘Man, that is the CP3 Show’

Great players do great things in the playoffs, and Chris Paul is a great player, and Sunday night in Game 1 of Phoenix’s first-round series against the Pelicans, that greatness was on full display.

Phoenix led 53-34 at the break, but the Pelicans outscored the Suns 37-25 in the third quarter and had some momentum going into the fourth, but then, the “CP3 Show” commenced.

The 12-time All-Star scored 19 of his team-high 30 points in the fourth quarter to go along with seven rebounds, 10 assists, and three steals as the Suns defeated the Pelicans 110-99 at Footprint Center to take a 1-0 series lead.

Game 2 is Tuesday night in Phoenix.

At age 37, Paul became the oldest player to record 30 points and 10 assists in a playoff game. 

“Man, that is the CP3 Show,” Deandre Ayton said postgame. ‘We got a little taste of it.’

“Classic Chris,” Suns head coach Monty Williams said. 

With Phoenix leading 80-73, Paul scored or assisted 19 straight points for the Suns to take complete control of the game. 

According to ESPN Stats & Info, Paul became the fifth player with ten career playoff games of 30 points and 10 assists, joining LeBron James (22), Michael Jordan (15), Jerry West (14), and Oscar Robertson (12)

“It’s just reading the game,” Paul said. “We watch games all day, every day. We got to watch all the games yesterday. We watched the games today. We know in the playoffs, teams aren’t going to lay down.”

Williams had more praise for his point guard.

“He’s not only a great point guard, but he’s a great basketball player,” Williams said.

After making the Finals last season, the goal for the Suns is an NBA title. Barring anything unforeseen, the Pelicans can’t defeat Phoenix. So, in reality, to avoid injuries, the Suns have to sweep this series to play as few games as possible as they look to win an NBA title.

Suns’ Paul: ‘I’m grateful to be here with this group’

On Tuesday night, the Phoenix Suns killed two birds with one stone in their 121-110 win over the Lakers. Phoenix eliminated the Lakers from playoff contention, and more importantly, the Suns picked up their 63rd win of the season, setting the franchise record for wins in a season.

The previous record of 62 wins occurred during the 1992-93 and 2004-05 seasons. 

Suns head coach Monty Williams, who became the head man in 2019, helped spearhead the turnaround. Phoenix went from losing 63 games in the 2018-19 season to winning 63 games and possibly more this season.

“It started with the young guys we had that first year, the bubble, last year, and then the individual stuff that we’ve seen guys achieve along the way, and then tonight is unbelievably special for so many people,” Williams said post-game. 

“Not just the organization, but the people in the city that have basically birthed the Suns. Everywhere I go, people talk about the Suns are their baby, and to have us playing this way, achieving this goal tonight is huge for the valley. It’s hard to put it into words, but we’re all pretty grateful, and we talk about celebrating everything, and there’s just so many people that have a huge part in this, from the players, who are the main cogs in it all, but in particular, ownership, James (Jones), but also people like Jay Gaspar and Denise Romero, who just have grown up in this organization and it’s special to see them excited about what we’re doing.”

Maybe the biggest reason for the turnaround in Phoenix was the acquisition of Chris Paul. None of this happens without CP3. Paul also became the first player in NBA history to be a part of four teams that set franchise records for wins, but for the 12-time All-Star, who helped lead the Phoenix to the NBA Finals last season, it’s all about winning a title.

“It’s all good and well,” Paul said. “It would be nice to put a championship with all that. That’s the goal; that’s what we’re working towards. I don’t take that lightly, though, because it’s a lot of work; it’s a lot of hard work that goes into year-in and year-out playing and competing. At the end of the day, you want to have a chance. You at least want to have a chance, and I’m grateful to be here with this group.”

Deandre Ayton was there for the 19-63 season, and he, like everybody else on the Suns, is happy to get to 63 wins.

“Me and Mikal (Bridges) were looking at each other four years ago, bro; we were at the bottom pit of the barrel,” Ayton said. “We almost thought we weren’t a part of the league. For a minute, I thought we were playing people to play us my rookie year, the way that we were losing. We here, man, and seeing all the fans and the community just so happy, just so supportive, all that helps.”

Winning 63 games is all well and good, but the Suns have to cap it off with a championship!