An Example of a Coach, Cont.

US
Coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns with guard Devin Booker during a game on May 23, 2021 (Mark J. Rebilas / USA TODAY Sports)

Monty Williams is the coach of the Phoenix Suns. The Suns just lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Finals. Williams immediately went to the Bucks’ locker room to congratulate the winners. He did not want to “take away from” their celebration, he told them. No, “I just wanted to come and congratulate you guys, as a man, as a coach. You guys deserved it, and I am thankful for the experience.”

I mention this episode in my column today, to make a broader point about the current state of our country. A reader writes,

You have reminded me of the other time I heard of Monty Williams. Unlike David French, I don’t follow the NBA.

In 2016, the coach’s wife was killed in a car crash. The other driver was at fault — possibly high on meth — and also died. At the funeral, Coach Williams made an impassioned request that everyone pray for and forgive the family of the other driver. You can read about it in Deadspin, here.

So — this is just who Monty Williams is. Maybe now I’ll follow one small corner of the NBA.

Williams and his wife, Ingrid, had five children together. The way Williams put it, in his eulogy, was, “I’ve got five crumb-snatchers to deal with.” He also said this:

“Everybody is praying for me and my family, and that is right, but let us not forget that there were two people in this situation, and that family needs prayer as well. And we have no ill will toward that family. In my house, we have a sign that says, ‘As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ We cannot serve the Lord if we don’t have a heart of forgiveness.

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“That family didn’t wake up wanting to hurt my wife. Life is hard. Life is very hard. And that was tough. But we hold no ill will towards the Donaldson family. And we, as a group, united, should be praying for that family, because they grieve as well.”

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