Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams took the unprecedented step of speaking to the Milwaukee Bucks after they defeated him in the NBA Finals. That came at the invitation of Giannis Antetokounmpo, who explained his reasoning in an interview.
Giannis told ESPN’s Malika Andrews that Williams wanted to talk to the Bucks but didn’t want to interrupt the celebration. Antetokounmpo said he felt it was the “right thing to do” to give Williams the opportunity.
From the cutting room floor of our @SportsCenter convo: Giannis discusses this moment Suns coach Monty Williams. “I had the people stop the music and stop the champagne… I told him, ‘I feel like there's a good chance we might running back next year.’ More: https://t.co/GizGXOyuPj pic.twitter.com/YjuFhbDES7
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) July 23, 2021
“I felt like the right thing to do was to take him in the locker room and allow him to talk to the team because he wanted to talk to the team but he didn’t want to stop the celebration,” Antetokounmpo said. “I walked in with him in the locker room, had the people stop the music, stop the champagne. He was able to talk to the team and congratulate us. We congratulated him too and wished him luck, and I told him I feel like there’s a good chance we might run it back next year.”
You can see the video of Williams speaking to Bucks players by clicking here.
It’s an incredibly classy gesture by two people who certainly didn’t have to do what they did. It also demonstrates the obvious mutual respect between the two sides. Williams has clearly won the respect of his players, and it certainly looks like he’s won over opponents as well.