NBA return plan not a 'break' from reality, says Suns coach
MANILA, Philippines – Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams looks forward to the return of sports, but reminds fans that it should not turn their heads away from reality.
“My hope is that if we do get back into playing basketball, it does not take the attention and focus off the things that need to change,” said Williams.
“We’ve often said that sports is a break from reality and I don’t think that we need a break from it. Right now, we need to focus on reality.”
The Zoom interview was held right after Williams penned an open letter where he called for change as nationwide protests in the United States triggered by racial violence continued.
“Sports is a connector in so many ways,” Williams said. “When you’re a kid, all you cared about was playing, being with your friends, wanting to win and being able to go home and tell your friends about what happened.
“There were no barriers, race wasn’t involved for the most part, social class was not involved in it. It was just pure element of playing. I don’t think that’s left the arena of sport, even though we’re dealing with the highest level.”
The 48-year old tactician gave credit to Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who was his mentor during his playing and early coaching career, for being his inspiration on voicing out his thoughts.
“I don’t want to get 20 or 30 years from now and look my kids in the eyes and all I did was play and coach,” he said. “Coach Pop told me that. When I first got into coaching, he would often remark that it was just boring to only do basketball.”
“I don’t want to get in my 60s and 70s and not be able to tell my children that I affected more than just a pick and roll coverage,” he added.
Williams and his Suns, who were sitting with a 26-39 record before the league got suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, will be among the 22 teams that will return to action in in the 2019-2020 NBA season restart.
“I’m hopeful that if we do get a chance to play, we become a bright spot for our world,” he said. “But at the same time, I’m hopeful that sports will not deflect from the things that we need to pay attention.” – Rappler.com