New Orleans Pelicans head coach Monty Williams will be an assistant coach for the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team. He will work under coach Mike Krzyzewski for the next three years.
It should not come as a surprise to anyone that Williams was selected to replace Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni. The 41-year-old is an outstanding defensive coach who is certainly a rising star in the NBA. He is able to get through to his players to show them that it is not all about offense in the NBA. He proves that defense can win ball games when executed properly.
Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau will also come aboard to replace former Portland Trail Blazers head coach Nate McMillan. Williams coached with McMillan during his time as an assistant with the Trail Blazers.
“Circumstances change for individuals and it was time to make some coaching staff changes,” USA basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said, according to NOLA.com. “We’re excited about the coaches we have coming on board. I think we have assembled another outstanding coaching staff, one that I believe will continue to lead our program to success on the court and off. Coaches Thibodeau and Williams are outstanding additions to our staff, and both of them have already made their mark on the league.”
The good news is Colangelo is not the only person excited as coach Krzyzewski is thrilled about the possibilities for Team USA going forward with the two new additions.
“Monty Williams, it’s ironic that he was an assistant with Nate,” Krzyzewski said, according to NOLA.com. “Again he is someone who is well respected in the NBA. The players love playing for him. I actually know him some because he is a very close friend of Grant Hill. I’ve met him a number of times and I’m looking forward to working with him.”
The coaches will get a good look at the players during the USA Basketball Select Camp in Las Vegas this summer. The players will undergo three days of training and exercise that will be topped off with a USA Basketball Showcase game on July 25.