Finally, someone from the Phoenix Suns organization gets the respect they deserve. This week, head coach Monty Williams has been appointed NBA coach Out of the year, it’s damn time. Williams escaped with 81 votes cast for a grand total of 458. Memphis Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins finished second with a total of 270 votes.
Williams became the tenth African American coach to win the highest coaching honor in the league. In all honesty, he should have won it last year but he beat Monty Directed by Tom Thibodeau of the New York Knicks. No black coach has won many Coach of the Year awards, but Williams will have a good chance of becoming the first to do so over the next two seasons.
Last season, the Suns were the surprise team in the league, winning 51 games, finishing second in the West, and making the post-season for the first time in a decade. This season, Phoenix has continued that upward trend, winning 64 games, and finishing with the best record in the entire NBA with eight games.
I would have lost faith in the NBA awards had Williams been left out for the second year in a row. Coach Williams could make more history this season if the Suns continue along the way. If Phoenix wins the NBA Finals, Williams will become Seventh African American coach leads his team to win the NBA title. But don’t make it crooked, Williams isn’t the only black coach to make some noise around the league, as Ime Udoka has a Boston Celtics flick. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that we could see another black man win the Coach of the Year award very soon.
In his first season as head coach, Odoka led the Celtics to a record second-best in the Eastern Conference with 51 wins. After a slow start to the season, the Celtics were the top team in the league from January onwards, and they are now in an excellent position to return to the Eastern Conference Finals. That’s not bad for a first time coach. Odoka finished fourth on the COY poll, and I expect him to continue climbing that mountain.
Ty Lue can also have a high chance of winning the prize if he has best players Get healthy and stay healthy at the same time. Kawhi Leonard missed the entire 2021-22 season, and even after his exit, the Clippers were still able to keep themselves in the West until Paul George fell to an injury that kept him out for three months. If Lue brings his youth back next season, I expect the Clippers to beat the West, putting their coach in line to win the award.
Jason Kidd in Dallas is another coach I expect to battle over the next few years for Coach of the Year. Anytime you have super talent like Luka Dončić, you have a chance to get some things done. The Dallas Mavericks finished fourth in the West, and Kidd tied Lue for sixth in the COY vote. Kidd’s imprint on this team was visible throughout the year in the way they improved dramatically on the defensive end of the court.
Then, of course, you have other veteran coaches like Doc Rivers and Nate McMillan, who can also throw their names into the hat in a given year. JB Bickerstaff is another black coach with a young Cleveland team that feels like it’s coming up and should be getting close attention. If the swans get to Zion Williamson is back On board and well, look for Willie Green to be included in this conversation soon.
Nearly half of the teams in the NBA currently employ Blackberry coaches. From 2006 to 2009, black coaches won the award every year. Avery Johnson (Dallas 2006), Sam Mitchell (Toronto 2008), Byron Scott (New Orleans Hornets 2008) and Mike Brown (Cleveland 2009). Another run like this could be on the horizon.