“I tell every new player … that the essence of my coaching is to serve,” said Williams, the National Basketball Coaches Association’s 2021 coach of the year. “As a believer in Christ, that’s what I’m here for. … I tell them all the time, if I get on you, I’m not calling you out – I’m calling you up.”
That message meshes well with what superstar Chris Paul writes on his sneakers game after game: “Can’t Give Up Now.” That’s a popular Gospel song with this chorus: “I just can’t give up now. I’ve come too far from where I started from. Nobody told me the road would be easy and I don’t believe He’s brought me this far to leave me.”
Williams and Paul have known each other for a decade, with professional and personal ties strengthened by pain and frustration. While Paul’s on-court struggles are well documented, it’s impossible to understand their bond without knowing the details of his coach’s life as a Christian, husband and father of five children.
“The real reason to watch” the playoffs this year, said former ESPN commentator Jason Whitlock, in his “Fearless” podcast, is “that God has placed a messenger inside the NBA’s secular madness. Monty Williams might be the most important man in sports. The 49-year-old former Notre Dame and NBA player is the leader and example that America needs right now.”