December 1, 2021


Keep Fit & Healthy

Monty Williams replenishes Suns coaching staff with familiar faces

5 min read

Cam Johnson noticed the new assistant coaches blending in days before Phoenix Suns began training camp Tuesday.

“Every time we’ve been in here these last couple of weeks, every day, every hour we’ve been in here, you see them in these windows having meetings,” said Johnson while looking at the meeting rooms inside the $45-million practice facility.

“You see them on the court talking everything through. It’s really obvious that they’ve put the time in to get on the same page and filling in everything that we do here and everybody bringing in their ideas.”

Then they let their voices be heard on the court.

“They’re real vocal,” Suns point guard Cameron Payne said. “I’m actually surprised because obviously coming into a new thing, you kind of come in kind of quiet, and kind of pickup things first, but they came in normal. They came in with a big-time voice. Very vocal. That’s what we need for our team to build new relationships with the coaches.”

Mikal Bridges (right) and Cam Johnson (cener) talk with Bryan Gates (asst. coach) during practice, September 28, 2021, at the Verizon 5G Performance Center, Phoenix, Arizona.

The comfort level Bryan Gates, Steve Scalzi, Michael Ruffin and Jarrett Jack already have is largely due to having familiarity with head coach Monty Williams.

How else can one explain Williams joking about the number of children Ruffin has during Monday’s media day.

“Ruff has like 26 kids, man,” said Williams as the media reacted with laughter.

Ruffin spent six years (2014-20) in New Orleans as he joined the franchise working in player development for Williams. Before that, he played nine seasons in the NBA with the final one being in Portland in 2008-09 when Williams was an assistant with the Trail Blazers under Nate McMillan.

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