Kevin Durant, other NBA figures react to Suns’ hiring of Monty Williams

May 3, 2019, 2:21 PM
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

To no surprise, the Phoenix Suns’ hiring of Monty Williams as their new head coach was well received across the NBA. Williams is one of the most well-respected coaches in the league and has many supporters.

Golden State Warriors forward and former MVP Kevin Durant was asked about his thoughts on the move Friday.

“His coaching style is what it is because of the stuff he’s been through as a person and how he looks at life in general and helps him as a leader and a teacher,” Durant said. “I’m excited that he’s back to coaching and walking the sidelines again. Phoenix, their whole organization, got a great leader to step in and kind of take it to the next level.”

After coaching the New Orleans Pelicans, Williams spent a season as the Oklahoma City Thunder’s assistant head coach, working with Durant.

Williams will see out the rest of his time in Philadelphia as an assistant coach for the 76ers during their playoff run. Philadelphia’s head coach Brett Brown commented on Williams’ new job Friday.

“I’ve known him for 15, 16 years. Anyone who pays attention understands that he’s ‘elite people,'” Brown said. “He’s incredibly relational, prideful in studying how to be a coach. I hope he’s taking something from our program.”

On top of his time with the Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs, Williams worked with USA Basketball as an assistant coach from 2013-16, helping the team earn a gold medal in the 2016 Olympics. Through his time there he coached the likes of Kevin Durant, James Harden and LeBron James.

Other NBA players reached out on social media to react to the news.

Williams replaces the fired Igor Kokoskov, who went 19-63 in his lone season as the head coach of the Suns. Williams becomes the 20th head coach in franchise history and the fourth in five years.

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