EMPIRE OF THE SUNS

Monty Williams leads Suns’ pre-draft workouts, impresses prospects

May 30, 2019, 3:59 PM | Updated: May 31, 2019, 9:11 am

Phoenix Suns new NBA basketball head coach Monty Williams speaks at a news conference, Tuesday, May...

Phoenix Suns new NBA basketball head coach Monty Williams speaks at a news conference, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — You’re going to be hard-pressed to find anyone around the NBA that won’t glow when they talk about new Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams.

The same can be said for the people within the organization who are just getting to know him, and even players who are meeting him for the first time.

Thursday was the start of pre-draft workouts for the Suns, the first of a three-day stretch where they will see 36 players.

The one takeaway from the players was that Williams wasn’t only present for the workouts, he was leading them.

That’s not something you see at these things too often.

“All the other workouts you don’t really have the head coach there,” Boston College guard Ky Bowman said. “So him being able to run the workout is big for us.”

Players lit up when they were asked about Williams, clearly enjoying their time working with him.

There’s also the reputation Williams holds as a well-known NBA name.

“It’s kinda crazy. When he introduced himself I said, ‘I, I know who you are,'” Tennessee forward Grant Williams said. “‘I was a fan. I was keeping up with you.'”

But it wasn’t only Williams’ presence.

From what the prospects said, Williams didn’t just want the players to run through the drills and judge how they would do on their own. To no surprise, there was plenty of coaching done by Williams to help players learn and get better.

“He taught a lot,” St. John’s guard Justin Simon said. “About the spacing, communication and the little things.”

“He was very hands-on teaching. I loved it.”

“His energy,” Nevada wing Cody Martin said of what stood out about Williams. “He’s trying to fill us out, and at the same time, just letting us play and have fun.”

In what the Suns have brought up consistently this offseason about building up the culture of the organization, days like Thursday for future NBA players to have in the team’s building can go a long way.

“It showed that they care a lot,” Bowman said. “It showed that they care no matter if we get drafted by them or by another team, that they’re actually here for us to lead the way and help us in the league.

And most importantly, it reinforced the person and leader the Suns signed on with in Williams.

“That’s who he is naturally,” Martin said of Williams. “You can tell that’s what he loves to do and he wants to teach everyone and allow them and get the opportunity to learn, whether they play for this team or somewhere else.”

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Empire of the Suns

Phoenix Suns head coach Mike Budenholzer is introducted on Friday, May 17, 2024....

Kevin Zimmerman

Why Suns coach Mike Budenholzer might do what Frank Vogel couldn’t

Phoenix Suns head coach Mike Budenholzer played to a frustrated fan base. He gave reason to believe why he can do what Frank Vogel didn't.

4 days ago

Jamal Shead, Houston Cougars...

Kevin Zimmerman

NBA Draft Combine: What might pop so far to the Suns

Point guards and 3-and-D wings stood out in the first day of 2024 NBA Draft Combine scrimmages on Tuesday.

6 days ago

Owner Mat Ishbia, Kevin Durant and general manager James Jones of the Phoenix Suns pose for a photo...

Kellan Olson

Suns have lengthy offseason checklist with limited maneuverability

It doesn't appear the Phoenix Suns can blow up their Big 3. So they must improve around the margins with limited trade and draft assets.

8 days ago

Head coach Mike Budenholzer (R) speaks with Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 in a game against the Philade...

Kellan Olson

Mike Budenholzer’s pedigree a match for Suns. Is his accountability?

The Phoenix Suns got the right guy for the job in Mike Budenholzer, as long as he can get through to the locker room.

11 days ago

Head coach Frank Vogel of the Phoenix Suns talks with Devin Booker #1 during the second half of gam...

Kellan Olson

Suns have to hope Frank Vogel’s exit fixes broken team dynamic

If Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal aren't fully bought in with the coach, then what were the Suns doing here?

12 days ago

Jalen Bridges of Baylor is defended by Kansas' Kevin McCullar Jr....

Kevin Zimmerman

The Suns’ best bet in the 2024 NBA Draft could be at wing

Kevin McCullar Jr. of Kansas and Colorado's Tristan da Silva could be options for the Phoenix Suns in the 2024 NBA Draft.

13 days ago

Monty Williams leads Suns’ pre-draft workouts, impresses prospects