Suns' Monty Williams Voted NBCA Coach of the Year After 51-21 Season

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 18, 2021

Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams watches from the bench during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs in San Antonio, Saturday, May 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
AP Photo/Eric Gay

Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams was named the National Basketball Coaches Association's Coach of the Year for the 2020-21 campaign.

The league's 30 head coaches voted to honor Williams, who led the Suns to a 51-21 regular season. 

Phoenix Suns @Suns

“I am overjoyed to receive the Michael H. Goldberg Coach of the Year Award from the National Basketball Coaches Association, I hold the utmost respect and admiration for the coaches in this league, so to be recognized by my peers is an incredible honor.”<br><br>Congrats, Coach! pic.twitter.com/5m3YAzcgmN

Scott Brooks (Washington Wizards), Michael Malone (Denver Nuggets), Nate McMillan (Atlanta Hawks), Doc Rivers (Philadelphia 76ers), Quin Snyder (Utah Jazz) and Tom Thibodeau (New York Knicks) were also among the coaches to receive votes. 

Williams inherited a Suns team that went 19-63 in 2018-19 and quickly rebuilt them in his image. Phoenix narrowly missed the playoffs last season after a torrid run in the NBA bubble and then reached the No. 2 seed in 2020-21 following the acquisitions of Chris Paul and Jae Crowder this offseason.

Paul has garnered much of the attention for the Suns' success and for good reason. They are a team that allows the future Hall of Famer to conduct the offense while playing with fierce competitiveness on the defensive end. Written off as a contractual albatross by many, Paul has consistently brought a winning attitude wherever he's gone in his NBA career.

That said, Williams has helped coax a huge year-to-year development from Mikal Bridges, who now stands out as one of the game's most promising young two-way players. The coach has also managed whatever egos that might have needed smoothing with the addition of Paul, which put Devin Booker second on the Suns hierarchy and tossed 2018 No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton to third or even fourth.

The Suns are a complete two-way team that makes sense on both ends of the floor, and that's a credit to upper management. But Williams' calming presence and ability to command respect have been paramount in the team's development.