Monty, Take a Tip From Rex

Published: January 22, 2011

No one will ever mistake Monty Williams for Rex Ryan. They coach different sports. They use different styles. They are certainly in different weight classes.

But I think, in the midst of our second longest winning streak of the season, Monty Williams needs to pick up the phone and get some advice from the New York Jets coach. Specifically, he needs to learn how to pump his team up under the “underdog” banner.

Anyone who pays attention to the NFL can see that Rex Ryan’s constant buffoonery and blustering doesn’t seem to make sense. After all, how can you continually refer to your team as an underdog, yet say things like “Same old Jets, in the AFC Championship”? He always speaks with confidence, knowing that he can lead his team against the Colts, the Patriots, and tomorrow against the Steelers.

But the important thing about the Jets’ underdog status isn’t about whether we or the media believe it. It’s about whether the players believe it. And right now, they have bought in 100%.

The post-game interview with Bart Scott should show that. He yelled about how the Patriots got more attention for their defense, which isn’t necessarily true. But what is true is that Bart Scott completely believed it was true.

That’s what we need with our Hornets.

The only difference between the underdog status of the Hornets and that of the Jets is that there is a LOT more evidence for the Hornets case. A prime example is the Weekend Dime from this weekend, fifteen hours removed from one of the biggest drubbings of the season by any team. There is not one mention of player or organization. In fact, there is a quote panel about all the stories of interest in the NBA, and still nothing about the big seasons from either of our three stars (yes, Emeka is turning himself into one of our stars). 

Small markets get the silent treatment a lot of the time, and I understand that. What I want is for Monty to use that. To use the silent treatment and show his players that the only way to make the media and the country at large care is to not go away. To beat the Celtics, the Lakers, Spurs and Magic. 

Tonight’s game should help, but even if the Hornets increase their winning streak to eight, they may get a blurb on Sportscenter and that’s it. And if that’s the case, then it’s even easier for Monty to use it to his advantage.

It won’t be easy, but Monty should watch some of Rex Ryan’s press conferences and think of what to say to his men. He seems like the cerebral coach, not the type to let his mouth write checks his team can’t cash. But if the Hornets want to make the world notice, to storm into the playoffs and be in contention for a championship, they need to believe that no one cares, and that they can change that.

This post was submitted by JNR.


  1. hewhorocks

    January 22, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Err This is well nonsense.

    Rex Ryan always speaks with confidence? Like when he held a press conference to apologize for not making the payoffs…then did? The Jets arent the media underdogs they were the Preseason favorites in a great number of analyst views. The Jets were the “were going to crush you” chest thumpers on “hard knocks.”

    The NBA media “silent treatment” is more about results than about market size. Sure LA and Boston are big markets and get the hype…oh yeah they are really good. The Cavs last year got a lot of press…Cleveland isnt exactly a “large market team.” It could be argued that going merely by market size the Hornets get more than their fair share of hype.

    The Hornets dont need to be “fired up” to make a deep season run. They need better bench play and more consistent production at the 2 and 3 spots. If they do that they will get the world to notice. Until that happens they will be the little engine that could or the team hanging about 9~10 games back in the west.

    • TopherPrice

      January 22, 2011 at 2:16 pm

      Ok, a couple things.

      Your points about Rex Ryan and his flip flopping nature of his bravado doesn’t change the fact that he is the king of being the emotional epicenter of his team. He does what he does for one reason, because he knows it pumps up his guys to get them to play bigger than they are.

      Your point about market size is grossly mis-representative as well. Yes results matter… But the Spurs didn’t get the respect and attention in the national media until after their second championship. Cleveland last year is a horrible example. The reason they had so much attention had just about 1/10 to do with their results, except for how it could be framed into the “will the greatest player in the game stay in this small market next year” story.

      I agree that the Hornets have the luxury of having CP3 and thus when we do well it makes the “story of the Hornets” quicker to come back. But JNR’s point if VERY VERY valid about market size and not being one of the big teams makes it very hard to crack the consciousness of the NBA watching world except in how losing your team would be good for the larger markets. A further example, after we beat Memphis in an overtime victory that gave us a 6 game winning streak (3rd longest in the NBA at the time) where all the action was in a perfectly highlight-able grouping, there was NO story on the morning SportsCenter on Thursday. NOTHING, not even a splash screen with the box scores. Two small market teams that are “struggling” according to the national media were the only game that did not get mentioned in any way other than the Mother F’n ticker at the bottom of the screen.

      Finally, if you think emotion and motivational devices are not necessary, I will point you to the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints. I don’t know if you remember, but our defense and our offense minus Drew Brees are all over-achievers. They thrive off of motivation. Their coach is known for being a MASTER of finding something for the guys to hold onto each game. The players and all knowledgeable football people say that his getting his team “fired up” was and is key to their performances.

      We can try and nit pick JNR’s points by finding two instances where Rex Ryan wasn’t the epitome of “over the top” rhetoric or point out weak arguments against his other points, but that is just being contrarian just to be contrarian and doesn’t add any thing to the discussion.

      I do completely agree that we need more consistent bench play and bringing in some additional help would be necessary to make a true deep run. However, that is not mutually exclusive to it being a good idea for the coach motivating the team through pointing out the disrespect they are receiving on a daily basis by the national and in some cases the local media.

  2. JNR

    January 22, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    That’s why I said that it’s not important that the media or us believe it. Bart Scott believes they are underdogs. Mark Sanchez believes they are underdogs. And they have used that as motivation.

    That’s all I’m saying here. I’m not saying we need to be blustering. I’m saying we need motivation, which is nearly as important as bench play and production. What gets a team to produce? Motivation.

  3. Joe Gerrity

    January 22, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    I like it. Although hewhorocks makes some valid points, I do think there is something to be said for a coach making a team bigger than they are.

    What I don’t like is that you made an entire Rex Ryan post without even a single reference to his foot fetish.

  4. JNR

    January 22, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    You mean I forgot to slip “even in de-feet” in there? I could have sworn I put that in.

  5. Ron

    January 22, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    fifteen hours removed from one of the biggest drubbings of the season by any team. There is not one mention of player or organization.

    Because our wins look boring. The Hawks got into the ESPN Top 10 last night on the leaping steal-and-dunk.

    While Dwight Howard pulled in a 30/19 in their drubbing of Toronto, the Hornets leading scorer had… 16 points. Snooze!!!

    (Note that while I may seem to be criticizing the Bees, actually I’m not. Remember that the Spurs dominated the league for 10 years with a defense-oriented snooze-inducing coach and team.)

  6. Pingback: Game On: Spurs @ Hornets |

  7. 42

    January 22, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Rex Ryan is entertaining.

    I think he’s a good coach. My issues with the Jets do not lie with Ryan. (I don’t like the way they handled Revis, and I think that had at least a temporary effect of deflating the efforts of the underpaid players . . . and it just may bite them . . .)

    I don’t, however, see exactly why we need motivation other than what Monty is doing? Isn’t the inattention enough? Isn’t making the media come to you a day late reward enough? That seems his style and it seems to be working.

  8. JayRey

    January 23, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Nice article JNR!! Jets are my favorite NFL team and I think they have what it takes to win the Super Bowl with their conidence and will to win. Should be a great game today against the Steelers

  9. 42

    January 23, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Monty, now that it’s official, also take the following from Rex: don’t allow the brass to lowball your best underpaid player because it saps the hope from the rest of the over-achieving underpaid players. He allowed that and now he, and his fans, are paying the price . . . and that player.

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