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Everything Detroit Pistons HC Monty Williams said at his introductory presser

The Detroit Pistons officially hired former Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams earlier this month, signing him to the largest coaching deal in NBA history at a reported six years and $78.5 million. He replaces Dwane Casey, who was not retained as head coach after five years on the job.

Monty Williams Detroit Pistons Troy Weaver

Monty Williams was officially introduced this afternoon

Joined by team owner Tom Gores and general manager Troy Weaver at the team practice facility, Detroit’s new head coach expressed his gratitude for the tremendous “blessing” of his new situation.

I’m just thankful God has blessed me with these opportunities to not only play in the NBA but to coach, and I’m grateful for the trust that Troy had in me, not just for this job but for a while,” he began his remarks with. “It’s been a great friendship and partnership going back to Oklahoma City, and to be here with him now is a true blessing. Mr. Gores, your generosity has changed my life at the right time. It’s been a huge blessing to my family, we’ve had a lot of things going on, and the patience that you all extended to us has made the difference and allowed for us to be here in this position.”

“I could go on and on with the gratitude that I have in my heart for this opportunity to be in this position. Across the board, everyone here has not only embraced me but made me feel like I’ve been here for a while….this is a true blessing for me and my family, and we will make you proud.”

Monty Williams sees similarities between the Pistons and Phoenix Suns

Williams first took over a Phoenix Suns team that had won only 19 games the previous year. He would then lead them to seasons of 31, 51, and 64 wins respectively, culminating in an NBA Finals appearance in 2022 and also being named the NBA Coach of the Year.

Does he see similarities between taking over that situation and the one he’s now in?

“There are similarities for sure,” he said. “The young talent that hasn’t had the experiences yet that they need to progress. Coach Casey did an unreal job of navigating a lot of that, and for me to be able to come into it now is a part of this restoration. I could name names, but I think that boxes guys, and when I look at the talent that we have, I’m careful not to compare in placing names on guys because I don’t want them thinking they have to be this particular guy; I want them to be the best version of themselves in a unique way.”

When I got to Phoenix, there were some things that were similar, but I’m not trying to redo that. That was there, this is now. We have a chance to restore and that was something that Troy kept saying – it was restore, never rebuild. When something has been great, you can restore it back to greatness. For me, that was more of the selling point as opposed to trying to re-do what we did in Phoenix.”

Monty Williams dealt with a personal family matter that delayed his hiring

When speaking of the process that brought him to Detroit, Williams explained that he was dealing with an extremely difficult personal situation – his wife found out recently that she had breast cancer, but that there was also good news to be shared.

“It’s too much to even talk about today,” he said. “Troy reached out to me right away after Phoenix, and for me, you marry yourself to the job and so there were many emotions that I was going through. Getting that call from Troy, it gave me confidence because I wasn’t feeling great about being fired, but I had a situation personally in my family that needed attention….that was a huge part of my decision-making.

“My wife found out she had breast cancer during the playoffs, and the reason I bring it up is to not talk about my family, but to make it more of an emphasis that women need early detection and testing…we found it early and it may have saved my wife’s life, and it can save others.”

How far can Williams take the Detroit Pistons?

The Pistons won only 17 games last season – how far does Williams believe that he can take this current group? He answered by saying that it’s not just him but the entire support staff that is crucial in a team’s success.

‘Well first, I get a lot of credit for that but these partnerships that all of us as head coaches understand, we can’t do anything without an assistant coaching staff and a medical staff, a management staff that all buy-in,” he said. “That’s the way it works, you need support staff and all of it has to be on the same page – that’s in place here.”

“You look at the talent and vets on the team, the trials they’ve been through the last few years, it doesn’t just give you hope but it gives you excitement. Troy just talked about it how he would put that locker room against any other in the League, and that intrigued me. That was in the back of my mind, even when I told him I couldn’t do it at the time.”

Wrapping It Up: Monty Williams can do great things in Detroit

Williams spoke from the heart and was composed and professional throughout his introductory press conference.

We’re looking forward to seeing what he can do with a young Pistons roster that is full of not only talent but potential.

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