Suns coach Williams congratulates Bucks in locker room after NBA Finals
Monty Williams congratulated the Bucks on their win, saying despite his team's loss, he was "thankful for the experience."
Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams visited the locker room of the new-NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks to congratulate the team on their win, saying that despite his team’s loss, he was “thankful for the experience.”
The Bucks took the series victory last night 4-2 in Milwaukee after beating the Suns 105-98, with Giannis Antetokounmpo raising the championship trophy in front of an ecstatic, packed-house hometown crowd at Fiserv Forum.
Moments later, Williams walked into the Bucks’ locker room, where he thanked his opponents and congratulated them on a hard-fought win. Sports reporter Arash Markazi shared a clip of the speech on Twitter.
“I don’t want to take away from [the celebration],” Williams said. “I just wanted to come and congratulate you guys, as a man, as a coach.”
“You guys deserved it, and I am thankful for the experience,” he continued. “You guys made me a better coach, made us a better team. Congratulations.”
In a post-game interview, Williams said with emotion that it would take him “a minute” to process experiencing his first finals. “It’s hard to get here, and I wanted it so bad,” he maintained. “It’s hard to process right now.”
Also on the loss, he said, “It’s a blur for me right now. I’m just thankful that God allowed me to be in this position, to be a head coach in the Finals. It hurts badly, but I’m also grateful we had this chance to play for a championship.”
Grateful pro-ball lovers saluted Williams for his graceful sportsmanship.
Sportswriter Howard Beck tweeted, “I’ve never seen this in 24 years covering the league. Monty Williams is as classy as they come.”
TV writer Bryan Behar wrote, “Monty Williams is a class act. Most of America could learn something from his integrity.”
Williams played in the NBA for five different teams from 1994 to 2003 before he moved to coaching. He was first a head coach of the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans from 2010 to 2015. He joined the Phoenix Suns as their head coach in 2019.