Emotional Monty Williams: ‘I just don’t take it for granted’ after Finals loss
Jul 20, 2021, 10:59 PM | Updated: Jul 21, 2021, 8:30 am
Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams got emotional after reflecting on what he learned in his first NBA Finals appearance, a ride that ended Tuesday with a Game 6 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
“I think it’s going to take me a minute,” Williams said in response to if he could process what he learned from the experience.
He then paused for a few moments.
Monty Williams had an emotional press conference and then congratulated the Bucks in their locker room pic.twitter.com/SIWhOowcfm
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 21, 2021
“I just don’t take it for granted,” Williams said as he became emotional.
“It’s hard to get here. I wanted it so bad.”
He ended the press conference saying it was hard to process and went to the Bucks’ locker room to congratulate the team.
Williams has been waiting to be a part of an NBA Finals for a long time.
He began his coaching career in 2005 with the Portland Trail Blazers as an assistant coach after 11 seasons in the league as a player.
Williams got his first crack at a head coaching job with the New Orleans Hornets five years later as the league’s youngest head coach at age 38, where he coached Chris Paul for a season before the Point God joined the Los Angeles Clippers.
Over five seasons with the Hornets, Williams collected a record of 173-221 and made the playoffs in two of those seasons, losing in the first round both times.
After serving as an associate head coach with Oklahoma City and an assistant coach with Philadelphia, he was hired prior to the 2019-20 season to take the helm of a Phoenix Suns team that had not made the playoffs since 2010 and suffered five seasons with more than 50 losses during that time.
The team improved to a record of 34-39 in his first year as head coach in the Valley and provided a glimpse of what would come with an 8-0 record in the bubble.
After being reunited with Chris Paul, Williams and the Suns finished second in the Western Conference with a 51-21 record this season and took down the Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers on their way to the NBA Finals, the franchise’s first in nearly three decades.
“I’m just thankful that God allowed me to be in this position, to be head coach in the Finals,” Williams said. “It hurts badly, but I’m also grateful that we had this chance to play for a championship.”