EMPIRE OF THE SUNS

Monty Williams, Phoenix Suns focused on basketball over sale of team

Dec 20, 2022, 6:32 PM

Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns watches play during the first half against the LA Cli...

Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns watches play during the first half against the LA Clippers at Crypto.com Arena on December 15, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams is often cautious to speak on anything until every I is dotted and every T is crossed. That remained the case on Tuesday prior to a matchup with the Washington Wizards, when all the hubbub was regarding the majority sale of the Suns and Phoenix Mercury to billionaire mortgage lender Mat Ishbia.

Ishbia released a statement two hours before tip-off on the agreement for the stake in the franchises. It did note the sale is still pending league approval.

“I can’t really talk about it because it hasn’t been approved by the Board of Governors,” Williams said. “I heard about as much information as you guys did. I woke up from my nap, my phone was going off.”

Ishbia and his brother Justin will be buying more than 50% of the ownership, including all of Robert Sarver’s interest and some from minority owners as well that values the franchises at $4 billion.

Williams declined to speak on what he would seek out in an owner when it came to qualities, saying those comments could be taken and run with.

“My goal is to just create an environment when people can be the best version of themselves,” Williams said of himself. “That’s my job.”

As far as the mental approach with that noise? Nothing new.

“We just tend to go about our business,” Williams said. “Players, staff, everybody in the building.”

Williams was unlike many of you reading this (and me), refraining from googling Mat Ishbia to learn more about him, knowing how dangerous that is when using it to assess someone. Williams called it unproductive.

“People have done that with me and I just kind of laugh,” he said. “Ten minutes with me, you realize I’m not the person you just looked up.”

The most Williams spoke on was a question of if more certainty in the ownership situation will give the Suns more flexibility with things like trades. Forward Cam Johnson, after all, alluded to potential hurdles by saying it was “interesting” to negotiate in these times.

Williams was logical in deducing, yeah, it probably helps.

“It could,” he said. “I think any time you have some gray as far as who owns the team, who is going to own it, I’m sure that when you finally do get some sort of direction when it comes to the ownership, that allows for you to know who you’re reporting to and that could allow for you to make more decisions going forward.

“It’s pretty obvious we haven’t done anything, along with other teams. But I think, yeah, if you get someone in place that probably makes it a little bit easier to make decisions and those decisions can be predicated on how that owner wants you to play too. You have to figure that part out.”

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