It took longtime NBA coach Monty Williams some time to earn a head-coaching gig after some success with the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans from 2010-15.
However, the highly-respected basketball mind has helped turn the Phoenix Suns into a juggernaut since he took over as their head coach ahead of the 2019-20 season.
Williams, 50, has now been rewarded for it. Suns star guard Devin Booker took to social media on Monday to report that Williams has won the 2021-22 NBA Coach of the Year award. Other NBA insiders verified his report, too.
This really shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. The top-three candidates were Taylor Jenkings of the Memphis Grizzlies, Toronto Raptors head man Nick Nurse and Williams himself.
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Monty Williams earns NBA Coach of the Year after historical season
Fresh off leading Phoenix to the NBA Finals last year, Williams helped the team post an NBA-best 64-18 record during the 2021-22 regular season. This represented the team’s best record since it entered the Association as an expansion team back in 1968-69.
This announcement comes with the Suns mired in a difficult Western Conference Semifinals matchup against the Dallas Mavericks. They won both games at home before dropping each of the two outings in Dallas leading up to Game 5 in the desert Wednesday evening.
- Monty Williams coaching record: 322-299, four playoff appearances, one conference title
Since taking over as the Suns’ head coach, Williams boasts a 149-78 regular-season record. Their success under him started in the Orlando Bubble after the 2019-20 season was suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Williams led Phoenix to eight consecutive wins in the bubble, barely missing out on the play-in tournament in the process. Including those eight games, Phoenix boasts a 123-39 record in its past 162 regular-season games under Monty Williams.