Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams was named 2021-22 NBA Coach of the Year, the league announced. Williams won in a landslide, earning 81 of a possible 100 first-place and finishing with a total of 458 points.
Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins finished second with 17 first-place votes and 270 points while Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra finished third with one first-place vote and 72 points total. This is the first time Williams has won the award, joining Cotton Fitzsimmons and Mike D’Antoni as the only coaches in Suns history to earn the honor.
Willams had a strong case to win last season but came in second to the New York Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau, who led an upstart team to the playoffs. However, the Suns coach would not be denied this year and he all but locked in the award as soon as Phoenix finished with a league-best record of 64-18 and the No. 1 seed in a competitive Western Conference.
In just three seasons with the Suns, Williams has managed to turn the franchise around and into a legitimate title contender. Backed by the All-Star play of Devin Booker and Chris Paul, Williams has orchestrated a stout two-way team that remains a frontrunner for the 2022 NBA Championship.
Aside from the official award from the NBA, Williams was also named the National Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year award for the second consecutive season. He is well-regarded in coaching circles but finally gets his due from the rest of the league and media.
Jenkins had a solid case as he led the upstart Grizzlies to the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. Spoelstra was a deserving candidate as well, leading the Heat to the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed.
Complete list of 2021-22 NBA award winners
With Williams minted as Coach of the Year, the annual NBA awards have been finalized.
Nikola Jokic was named the MVP for the second consecutive season, Marcus Smart became the first guard since Gary Payton to be named Defensive Player of the Year, Ja Morant won Most Improved Player, Tyler Herro took home Sixth Man of the Year and Scottie Barnes won a tight Rookie of the Year race. All were deserving winners who contributed to another exciting NBA season.
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