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Suns thank Monty Williams with tribute video in return to the Valley

The Phoenix Suns honored former coach Monty Williams with a tribute video before his return to the Valley with the Detroit Pistons.

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The fans cheered very loudly for Williams and did so again when he was introduced with his new team.

The Suns parted ways with Williams as their head coach last May just a day after they fell to the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the playoffs.

Williams had helped take the Suns to new heights in his tenure in Phoenix. Since he was hired in May of 2019, he finished with an overall record of 309-194 (.628) with Phoenix, was the 2022 Coach of the Year, led the team to the 2021 NBA Finals, went 8-0 in the bubble and much more.

He inherited a team that went 19-63 the year prior and set them up for future success right away with their bubble performance. The Suns improved to 34-39 in Williams’ first season in 2019. They then just established themselves as one of the top teams in the league.

Following his dismissal in Phoenix, Williams then became the highest-paid coach in the entire NBA (at the time) when he was hired by the Pistons.

Williams brought over a plethora of Suns’ assistants with him to Detroit. These coaches include Mark Bryant, Jarrett Jack, Brian Randle and Steve Scalzi.

“I mean I’d be here all day (talking about what he did for me),” Devin Booker said about Williams after the Suns’ win over the Kings last night. “Finally found stability in my career, I think starting with the the bubble run and the year before until now. (Williams) was a huge part of that in setting the culture, setting the foundation and turning Phoenix basketball back into winning basketball.”

Williams was very emotional when talking about coming back to Phoenix and Booker.

“It is just a different deal because of the relationships here, the people I got to work with and coach, where I was at the time, getting an opportunity to come here and coach, the partnership I had with the players here, in particular Devin (Booker),” Williams said pregame. “Then the stuff that happened off the floor with my family, I thought about it last night when we were going to the hotel. You see the hospital where your child was treated, then when we left my wife had a situation, all that stuff was a part of the journey.

“I just think about how blessed I was to coach here in this city, coach this team, and all that stuff that happened here was a huge treat for me and my family. I just have a great sense of gratitude. Then, there is the competitiveness that comes out, I woke up and did my study time, then got right to work. It is just the range of emotions, I was blessed to be here and just thankful for the opportunity that I and the staff with me got here in this city with this organization.”

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Brendan Mau is a senior writer covering the Phoenix Suns and more for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on X via @Brendan_Mau

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