Monty Williams should win Coach of the Year, James Jones should take home the Executive of the Year, and Chris Paul should receive some runner-up votes for MVP. Yes, it’s been that kind of year for the Phoenix Suns.
Awards come with the on-the-court success that our hometown heroes on the hardwood have produced in 2021. Williams has been consistent in his approach since day one of saying “no” to coach the Lakers and signing the dotted line here in The Valley.
It’s not to say that Utah’s Quin Snyder or Tibs with the Knicks haven’t done an outstanding job; they have, but not close to the reclamation project that Williams inherited.
Monty took over the Titanic and navigated it through the icebergs. Voters should be smart enough to see what he’s done with this franchise. He’s a perfect 5-0 against the Jazz and Knicks this season. That shouldn’t be overlooked either.
Jones has assembled a group of grit guys mixed in with a heavy dose of flair. Did you see Chris Paul mix it up on Friday night with the Knicks players and coaches? Did you see Jae Crowder come close to blows but having the experience to walk away? Did you see Frank Kaminsky resemble a mini Laimbeer with his inside presence?
I felt like I was watching the Bad Boy teams from Detroit. What’s more, they put up 128 on the Knicks while bullying them around on the court.
There hasn’t been a need to see 2020 first-round pick Jalen Smith on the floor, so for those who like to use that pick against Jones in the argument of Executive of the Year, you’re grasping at straws. Paul, Crowder, Kaminsky, and Payne all have that edge about them on the floor.
To win titles, you need chippy players on your roster. I don’t need a bunch of choir boys. I need grit. Jones has assembled a team that has a little bit of everything. He should take home the hardware…
Paul’s Most Valuable Player case isn’t as easy. He’s had a tremendous season, but just because I live here doesn’t mean I can’t look outside of the 602 to see what else has been accomplished across the League. Nicola Jokic, Joel Embild, and Giannis have been amazing. Steph Curry puts up big numbers, but his team is nowhere near the Suns.
Paul also has a running mate who should get some MVP votes. He hasn’t done this all on his own. I’d give the hardware to Jokic, and I think Paul would rather raise an NBA Title Trophy over his head than an individual honor.