Monty Williams made it a point to go into the Milwaukee Bucks locker room to congratulate Giannis Antetokounmpo and his teammates following Game 6 of the NBA Finals, just moments after his Phoenix Suns came up short of a title.
“I don’t want to take away from [anything],” Williams says in the now-viral video. “I just wanted to come and congratulate you guys as a man, because you guys deserve it. And I’m thankful for the experience. You guys made me a better coach. You made us a better team. Congratulations.”
Williams Locker Room Trip Called a ‘Look at me Louie’ Move
While Williams has drawn wide praise for the show of sportsmanship, not everyone was a fan of Williams’ uncommon move. Amin Elhassan said on the Rich Eisen Show that he felt Williams going into the locker room took away from the Bucks moment.
“Let me start by saying Monty Williams is an excellent human being. He’s literally one of the best among us. A genuine good guy who is well-liked by everyone around him,” Elhassan said. “Having said that — I felt it was a little too ‘Look at me Louie’ out there. I mean you’re gonna walk into the winner’s locker room in the middle of their championship celebration, make them pause the celebration to say a big speech. … Come on. If you’re that empathetic where you know that even in this moment of defeat I gain a kernel of victory by facing this formidable foe, then you are empathic enough to know, I’ll just wait until I catch them in the hallway.”
As Elhassan pointed out at the start of the rant, Williams is one of the most well-liked people in the NBA, making it a point to do things the right way and treating his players and all those around the league with respect. Still, he feels like it was too much and any other coach would have drawn more criticism for the move.
“If it was anyone else but Monty, I feel like a lot of people would be on my side on this,” Amin said. “Let them have their moment.”
Suns Feel ‘Pain’ After Coming Up Short
Williams has been able to put a lot of things in perspective when it comes to the game of basketball, but he admitted there was a lot of pain following the loss to the Bucks in Game 6.
“There’s just a pain that goes with your season being over, but I’ve never dealt with this and so I’m grateful, but I know this is going to hurt for a while,” Williams told reporters in his postgame press conference. “But I don’t want that to take away from what our guys did this year. They battled all year long and with all the testing and playing every other day to get to this point and have a chance to play for a championship, like it’s unreal, you know, that our guys did this.”
The Suns have a solid core but will ultimately have to figure out what they want to do with Chris Paul — a 36-year-old point guard who is due $44.2 million next year if he opts into his player-option.
Other free agents include mostly role players, with E’Twaun Moore, Langston Galloway, Cameron Payne, Frank Kaminsky, Abdel Nader and Torrey Craig all set to become unrestricted free agents.