Monty Williams: A Phoenix Suns Legend Claims Top Honors as 2022 NBA Coach of the Year

Phoenix Suns and Coach Monty Williams: A Winning Combination

The Phoenix Suns have proven themselves to be the top team in the NBA by finishing the regular season with an impressive 64-18 record. As a recognition of their outstanding performance, head coach Monty Williams was awarded the prestigious Coach of the Year title for 2022. This achievement further solidifies the Suns’ status as a powerhouse in the league.

A Coach Who Exemplifies Team Spirit

Making history, Monty Williams received 458 total votes, including an impressive 81 first-place votes, securing his victory as the NBA Coach of the Year. He emerged triumphant against other notable coaches, such as Taylor Jenkins from the Memphis Grizzlies, who secured 17 first-place votes and 270 total votes.

Williams, proudly accepting his award, expressed his deep appreciation for the honor. He emphasized that the Coach of the Year award truly represents the essence of teamwork. In his words, “If there’s one award that exemplifies team, it’s the Coach of the Year award because there’s not a coach in the NBA that has bad intentions for the program or for the players. Nobody walks into the gym and hopes that their guys play poorly and tells them not to work and, ‘Please, don’t play defense.’ We don’t do that. In order to get an award like this, it takes a lot of people.”

Williams’ words showcase the high level of integrity and dedication that he brings to his coaching approach. He values his players’ growth and success, always striving to bring out the best in them.

Building an Impressive Legacy

Under Williams’ guidance, the Phoenix Suns have achieved back-to-back Pacific Division titles in the past two seasons. This remarkable accomplishment places Williams in an elite group of Phoenix Suns head coaches who have earned the prestigious NBA Coach of the Year honors. He joins the ranks of esteemed coaches Cotton Fitzsimmons (1989) and Mike D’Antoni (2005).

Monty Williams: From Role Player to Coach

Monty Williams had a unique journey from being a professional basketball player to becoming a highly respected coach. He started his career when the New York Knicks selected him as the 24th overall pick in the 1994 NBA Draft. Throughout his nine-year playing career, Williams showcased his skills as a small forward, playing for five teams including the Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Orlando Magic, and Philadelphia 76ers. With an average of 6.3 points per game, he made a significant contribution to each team he played for. His expertise and experience as a player laid a solid foundation for his coaching career.

Transitioning from Player to Coach

Immediately after retiring as a player, Williams wasted no time in pursuing his passion for coaching. In 2005, he joined the Portland Trail Blazers as an assistant coach, working under the guidance of head coach Nate McMillan. This early coaching experience allowed Williams to refine his skills and gain invaluable knowledge of the game from a different perspective.

Stepping into the Role of Head Coach

In 2010, Williams was appointed the head coach of the New Orleans Hornets, making him the youngest head coach in the NBA at that time. Leading the team for five seasons, he faced both challenging and successful moments. While he had three difficult seasons, Williams also led the Hornets/Pelicans to two winning seasons, earning trips to the postseason.

Expanding His Coaching Journey

Following his tenure with the Pelicans, Williams continued to grow as a coach, taking on significant roles with different teams. He served as an associate head coach with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2015-16 season and later as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2018-19 season. These experiences further honed his coaching skills and allowed him to bring a wealth of knowledge to his role as head coach of the Phoenix Suns.

A Turnaround for the Suns

When Williams took over as head coach of the Suns in 2019, the team was facing challenges. However, he quickly established himself as a formidable leader and helped turn the team’s fortunes around. In the pandemic-shortened 2019-2020 season, the Suns achieved a commendable 34-29 record despite the difficulties posed by the unique circumstances. The following season, Williams and the Suns had a remarkable .708 winning percentage with a 51-21 record, securing a spot in the highly-coveted NBA Finals.

A Shot at the NBA Finals

The Phoenix Suns, under Monty Williams’ guidance, made a memorable run to the NBA Finals. Despite their exceptional performance, they were ultimately defeated by the Milwaukee Bucks in a hard-fought series. Nonetheless, Williams’ coaching acumen and the team’s impressive journey to the Finals solidified their status as a dominant force in the league.


Monty Williams’ recognition as the NBA Coach of the Year for 2022 is a testament to his exceptional coaching skills and the success he has brought to the Phoenix Suns. From his experience as a player to his transition into coaching, Williams has demonstrated unwavering dedication to the sport. His coaching philosophy revolves around teamwork, growth, and pushing players to reach their full potential. This award underscores the Suns’ position as an elite team in the NBA and sets the stage for future successes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How many times have the Phoenix Suns won the Pacific Division title under Monty Williams?

Under Monty Williams’ leadership, the Phoenix Suns have secured the Pacific Division title back-to-back in the past two seasons.

2. What other coaches from the Phoenix Suns have received the NBA Coach of the Year award?

Monty Williams joins the esteemed company of Cotton Fitzsimmons (1989) and Mike D’Antoni (2005) as the third head coach from the Phoenix Suns to receive the NBA Coach of the Year award.

3. What is Monty Williams’ coaching background prior to joining the Phoenix Suns?

Before joining the Phoenix Suns, Monty Williams served as the head coach for the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans, as well as an associate head coach for the Oklahoma City Thunder and an assistant coach for the Philadelphia 76ers.

4. How did Monty Williams’ playing career influence his coaching approach?

As a former NBA player, Monty Williams brings a unique perspective to his coaching approach. His firsthand experience on the court allows him to relate to his players and tailor his coaching strategies to maximize their individual and team potential.

5. Has Monty Williams previously been recognized as a top coach in the NBA?

Before winning the Coach of the Year award in 2022, Monty Williams finished as a runner-up in the Coach of the Year voting during the 2020-2021 season, second only to Tom Thibodeau of the New York Knicks.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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