Suns’ Monty Williams: Devin Booker wants to make it right in Phoenix
It has been a rough two-game stretch for the Phoenix Suns.
Losing to the 22-loss Memphis Grizzlies before failing to capitalize on a 21-point lead over the Sacramento Kings, the early hype has dissipated.
The buzz around the team’s start to the 2019-20 season has quieted, but the talk of Devin Booker finally getting fed up with the potential of yet another season has only heightened.
But while the narrative pushes on, inside the Suns locker room, head coach Monty Williams sees it another way.
“I’ve been through it with other players, I was in New Orleans when Chris Paul wanted to leave. I just happened to inherit that situation,” Williams told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Friday. “You can’t control that stuff, but I can tell you in our conversations with Devin, I’ve never even sensed anything of that sentiment at all.
“Devin loves Phoenix. You look at the amount of money he’s committed to the city and to the community, you don’t do that if you’re thinking about uprooting and going somewhere else.
Booker’s already turning in another impressive season, averaging 26.2 points on 51% shooting to go along with 6.5 assists per game. His defense has also seen an uptick in play as the guard looks to be an impact on both sides of the floor.
“He wants to make it right here,” Williams said. “I think he’s going to be one of the few guys that is with a team for 15+ years because he’s that vested in the program, that vested in the city. Obviously when you go through a tough time and you lose as many emotional games as we lost, it can create some of that but from my perspective, I’ve seen none of that.”
For Williams, he sees a player trying everything he can to set his team up to win, not someone looking to place blame elsewhere or ready to jump ship. It may be Year 1 under Williams but Booker appears to be gelling nicely with the head coach. He gets Williams’ mentality and has seen a small 11-game sample size at the start of the season of what the team can be capable of.
And at the end of the day, it’s ultimately on the team as a whole to get the Suns back on track.
“[Gregg Popovich] taught me a long time ago, you have to be a part of your own rescue, and that’s what it is right now for us,” Williams said. “We, all of us, players and staff are doing the very best we can to do the right things so that we can get out of this and sustain it for a long time.”
The Suns’ next chance at turning the tide comes Friday night against an Orlando Magic team that knocked off the Suns 128-114 back on Dec. 4. Catch all the action live on 98.7 FM.
– Monty Williams on the Suns holding a team meeting following the last loss to Sacramento:
“Our guys meet seldomly but they have had a meeting. It was something that was between them, I can’t take the liberty of talking about it, but yeah they meet, they meet all the time. They meet on the bus, they meet on the plane, they talk about our team constantly.
“I don’t see how it’s that big of a deal. I think it’s a big deal when you lose a 21-point lead and then it gets out that you had a meeting. NBA teams meet all the time and as long as real talk happens in the meeting I think you can grow from that.”