New Orleans Hornets coach Monty Williams was a serviceable player for the New York Knicks, a first-round pick out of Notre Dame who was smarter than he was talented. He lasted 10 years in the NBA on being hard-nosed and cerebral.
His transition to coaching was surprising at first, but upon further review, made perfect sense. He understood the game. And what he has done since becoming coach of the New Orleans Hornets in his two year has earned him a four-year contract extension, the AP reported.
“I would like to thank Mr. (Tom) Benson, his family, Mickey (Loomis, executive vice president) and Dell (Demps, general manager) for putting their trust in me and showing me their commitment,” Williams said in a statement released by the club. “The love and support the city and its fans have shown me and my family in the time we have been here has been incredible and I look forward to continuing to work to make the city and the Benson family proud of the Hornets.”
Williams came to the Hornets after five seasons as the assistant coach in Portland under then-head coach Nate McMillan.
“The Hornets have a promising future and an exciting young nucleus,” said Hornets executive vice president Mickey Loomis. “It is our opinion that Monty is the perfect coach to develop and lead this group of talent going forward.”
Williams took the Hornets to the playoffs his first season with a 46-36 record. Last season, the club went 21-45 after trading star Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers in a deal that helped New Orleans build for the future with the acquisition of 23-year-old shooting guard Eric Gordon and an additional first-round draft choice.
The Hornets then won the NBA’s draft lottery and selected Kentucky star Anthony Davis first overall and added Duke’s Austin Rivers with the 10th pick.
This off-season, the Hornets have also traded to acquire forward Ryan Anderson from Orlando and center Robin Lopez from Phoenix, giving Williams something to work with for the future.