As he was officially named as the newest head coach of the Detroit Pistons, Monty Williams revealed that he originally planned to take a break from coaching due to the critical condition of his wife.
Williams stated that his wife, Lisa, was diagnosed with breast cancer during his run last postseason with the Phoenix Suns. It was detected earlier, and he can only be thankful of the life-saving evaluation made.
“I talked to my wife today about whether or not we should talk about publicly, but that was a huge part of my decision-making and the patience that Troy and Mr. Gores had with me and with us as we navigated that, told me a lot,” Williams said in a lengty remark of his introductory press conference, per Detroit Free Press’s Omari Sankofa II. “My wife found out she has breast cancer during the playoffs. The reason I bring that up is to not talk about the family, but to make it more of an emphasis that women need early detection testing. We had genetic testing done and scan after scan, and we found it early. That might’ve saved my wife’s life and it might save others.
“As we navigated all of that and talking to Troy, telling him that I couldn’t right now because I have to take care of my family,” he added. “Then we got great news that we would find out about her situation a lot earlier than we thought we would, and out of the blue, I got a text from Troy after they had their pow wow table, which I thought was totally off of the table. I was with my kid at a tryout. So just all of that was on my plate. Losing my job, family situation and then being dad, traveling with my family, doing a few things. Then out of the blue, I got the text from Troy and it went quickly after that.”
Per Sankofa II, sources have noted that the Pistons also inserted leverages on Williams’ record-breaking $78.5 million contract to help his wife and family. The deal allows the mentor and his family to be covered in health benefits, be provided with private jet services, as well as assistance in finding housing and schools.
Williams didn’t hesitate to admit that his contract that now makes him the highest paid head coach in the league has enticed him to take the coaching opportunity of the Pistons. As such, he is excited to learn and help the promising club to prosper under his watch after a four-year run in Phoenix.
“The quick answer is obviously Troy, the players and the money,” he said. “That’s something that people don’t talk about, they say it wasn’t the money. I always laugh at that. I think that’s disrespectful. When someone is that generous to pay me that kind of money, one that should be applauded, and two it should be talked about. All of us as head coaches could go coach in our hometowns, not travel as much and be home more and have less stress. It was those variables and more.
“I like those challenges. I like the process of building. I like seeing players get better. I like seeing a guy for the first time understand what it’s like to navigate crunch-time situations. That’s a part of the process that I enjoy. There’s a number of other things, but at the end of the day this is a get to and not a got to. These jobs in the NBA as head coaches are privileges and there are only 30 of them, and I look at it that way. We could go on and on about the blessings that go with these positions, whether it’s taking over a contending team or a team that’s on the rise.”