Monty Williams driven to help Suns’ Devin Booker, Robert Sarver
Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams has called himself a servant. He views his role as one meant to help others, and for two key individuals on his new team, the coach has quite the motivation to help.
Those people would be guard Devin Booker and owner Robert Sarver.
Phoenix’s first-year head coach wants to change the narratives around each of them. Winning would do the trick.
“I’ve spent a lot of time just talking to Devin, learning his history, understanding that he’s been through a lot,” Williams told Jon Bloom and Kellan Olson on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Suns preseason special. “I don’t want to overwhelm him, and yet, I can’t think of anybody than I want to succeed more than Devin.
“I’ve heard all the nonsense people have said. Between he and Mr. Sarver, I can’t think of two people I want to see get there. That’s my mindset when I get here every day.”
Booker is still 22 years old but has taken his fair share of criticism from analysts and writers who question his resume of impeccable statistics compiled among many, many losses.
The 13th overall pick in 2015 earned a max contract that kicks in this season, his fifth in the NBA, and is coming off a year in which he averaged 26.6 points, 6.8 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game.
Under first-year GM James Jones, the Suns have put more capable veteran pieces around Booker and center Deandre Ayton to usher in a cultural change. The change is led by Williams.
Meanwhile, Sarver has owned the Suns for a decade and a half, ushering them through one the franchise’s most successful runs, the Steve Nash-led Seven Seconds or Less era. What followed was easily its worst stretch, a playoff drought from 2011 to present.
Williams has endeared highs and lows as a player, coach and human being. As a servant, he hopes Booker and Sarver can shed parts of their reputations that, fairly or not, have been cast upon them.
“I want to help that young man become an All-Star,” Williams said of Booker. “I want to be a part of that journey, I want to see him win. I want to see his face when we finally make it. I feel the same way with Mr. Sarver.
“Those two guys were a part of the equation for me to come here. If I can be a part of those two, elevating their status, as players and owners, what a blessing that would be for me.”
Listen to an exclusive interview with Suns GM James Jones and the full two-hour Suns preseason special below.
- Kelly Oubre Jr. bounces back, Suns roll past Trae Young’s Hawks
- Suns preach pick-up points; Booker excited for new practice facility
- The Ringer’s Ryen Russillo talks Suns’ start and Booker’s efficiency
- Ricky Rubio brings flashes of Steve Nash back to Phoenix Suns
- Robert Sarver comments on newfound success for Phoenix Suns