Jeanie Buss and the Los Angeles Lakers reportedly never offered a contract to Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams, prompting him to agree to a five-year deal to become the Phoenix Suns head coach.
This led to many swirling rumors that Williams chose the Suns over the Lakers due to the perceived dysfunction currently plaguing the organization.
Williams reportedly was never the team’s first choice, but they still interviewed him twice. The first with general manager Rob Pelinka and the other which included Buss.
However, despite that and all the other issues with the Lakers, Williams had nothing but praise for Buss and her commitment, via Adrian Wojnarowski’s The Woj Pod:
“When I spoke with the Lakers, the thing that impressed me more than anything was Ms. Buss and her thoughtfulness and how that particular team and organization is really a part of her DNA. When she talks to you about the team, she’s not only talking to you about basketball. She really is vested in those young men’s lives and I saw that. It is the Lakers. It is a traditional, foundational organization/institution of the league and they have big shoes to fill. Mr. Buss was a trailblazer and so, I saw the burden that she had and she has. She wants to carry on the legacy of her dad. And when I spoke with her, that resonated with me. I was like like this lady is for real. And so, I’m no different than anybody else. I’ve heard some of the things that have been said about her and I really felt bad about that because I didn’t get that. I saw a lady that really cares and she really wants what’s best for the players involved, but also the organization. So for me, I didn’t have a bad experience with them. My talks with them helped me to learn more about another team and for me, it makes me better and more aware of the NBA as a whole.”
Clearly, Williams looked on his time interviewing with the Lakers very fondly, and that might allow for a glimmer of hope that things may not be so bad with the Lakers.
If Buss is truly vested and cares this deeply about Los Angeles, she’ll eventually come around and start working to make the best basketball decisions possible for the Lakers. And there’s a chance that’s already on the horizon with head coach Frank Vogel, the 2019 NBA Draft, and free agency.