Monty Williams Won't Return to Thunder This Season After Death of Wife Ingrid

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2016

Oklahoma City Thunder assistant coach Monty Williams in the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, in Denver. The Thunder won 110-104. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Oklahoma City Thunder associate head coach Monty Williams won't return to the team this season following the death of his wife, Ingrid Williams, after a car crash last month.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports passed along the news.  

Marc Stein of ESPN relayed that USA Basketball is also giving Williams all the time he needs before making a decision about the 2016 Summer Olympics:

Williams delivered a powerful message during the memorial service for his wife. He spoke about the power of his faith and the importance of forgiveness, even in the most difficult moments. Alysha Tsuji of USA Today provided his closing remarks:

I want to close with this, and I think it's the most important thing we need to understand. Everyone is praying for me and my family, which is right, but let us not forget that there were two people in this situation. And that family needs prayer as well, and we have no ill will towards that family. In my house, we have a sign that says, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

We cannot serve the Lord if we don't have a heart of forgiveness. That family didn't wake up wanting to hurt my wife. Life is hard. It is very hard, and that was tough, but we hold no ill will toward the Donaldson family. And we, as a group, brothers united in unity, should be praying for that family because they grieve as well. So let's not lose sight of what’s important.

The Thunder showcased the entire speech:

Williams, 44, received a vast outpouring of support from around the basketball community after the news became public. Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James was among those who posted a message on social media directed toward the Thunder coach:

The Oklahoma City organization also released a statement at the time, which noted it would "support [Williams] in every way possible," per Zak Patterson of

There are things that are much bigger than basketball, and those are what take precedent for the foreseeable future. Williams has five children to take care of and help through the grieving process while also going through it himself.

The Thunder, who currently sit third in the Western Conference with a 44-20 record, will surely keep him in their hearts and minds the rest of the way.