Monty Williams Really Doesn’t Care, and that Makes All the Difference in the World

Published: November 18, 2010

An hour and a half before every game, the same scene plays out in the New Orleans Arena. Monty Williams stands boldly against the wall just outside the Hornets locker room as nearly two dozen reporters surround him looking for a great soundbite. Williams answers each question openly and honestly, with seemingly nothing to hide. He talks about his team’s great start and their goals for the season. He will tell you about film sessions and the messages he preached to his team the night before. In fact, Monty will talk about almost anything, as long as it relates to the New Orleans Hornets. But if you are looking to get any insight from Monty about other teams in the league, you’re out of luck, and it’s not because Monty doesn’t know; he just doesn’t care.

Three Dallas reporters squeeze their way in to the front of the line and shove their digital recorders in Monty’s face. The first one fires away:

“So you know Dalls is the #1 zoning team in the league- Do you think that is the reason for their defensive improvement?”

“I didn’t even know they ranked that- how do you rank who has the best zoning team?”


Reporter #2- “Well, why do you think Dallas has improved so much on the defensive end?”

“Those guys have been together a couple years now. If they didn’t have it together by now, I’d be worried. But really, I don’t care why they’re playing the way they are, I just know we have gotta go out there and play our game.”


Reporter #3- “Dallas does play a lot of zone and not a lot of other teams in the league play it as much or as well as they do, so does that pose a problem?”

“We see zones every day in practice, so we know what to do against them. I tell the guys that they have to be more aggressive, and we can’t worry about what the other team is doing. We just gotta play our own game.”

Williams. Game. Set. Match.

He’s not being a jerk, he’s not being arrogant- he’s just being himself and his focus has been singular since he took the job. His only concern is how this team improves each and every day, because he knows that there are only a handful of things within his control. Unlike a certain coach in Disney World, he doesn’t care about how the Heat are doing. He will not lead the Hornets into LA and talk about how the Lakers are his dream job like a certain ex-coach did in the past. He’s not positioning himself to be a future analyst or front office executive- he is simply in the moment with this team, working on making steps each and every day, and that more than perhaps any other single reason is why the Hornets are where they are today.


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