PHOENIX ( Associated Press) — Monty Williams won the NBA Coach of the Year award on Monday because the Phoenix Suns achieved a club record 64 regular-season wins under him.
The Suns were by far the best team in the NBA during the regular season, finishing with eight more wins than any other team.
Williams, 50, has coached SUNS for three seasons and the team has gotten better each season.
Williams became the latest Suns coach to earn the award after Cotton Fitzsimmons (1988-89) and Mike D’Antoni (2004-05).
“I used to say about my life that God flies the ball out of the park and I walk the bases,” Williams said. “Yes, my name will be on a plaque, but it represents many names.”
Tom Thibodeau of the New York Knicks was Coach of the Year last season, but not in as sweeping a fashion as Williams is now.
The Suns coach received 81 of 100 first-place votes from a global panel of 100 sports writers and commentators to finish with 458 points.
Taylor Jenkins of Memphis was second with 17 first-place votes and 270 points. Miami’s Erik Spoelstra and Boston’s Ime Udoka also garnered a first-place vote.
All-Star nominees guard Chris Paul and shooting guard Devin Booker posted on social media that Williams had won the award, with no official announcement yet.
Booker said on Twitter: “Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams was voted NBA Coach of the YEAR, according to sources. A formal announcement is expected later in the day.”
Paul added: “WD WS…Congratulations to Trainer Mont on his Trainer of the Year!!” WD WS refers to a Suns motto in English, which means well done is better than well said.
Phoenix posted a team record 18-game winning streak from October 30 to December 2, in addition to a 16-0 winning streak in November.
The Suns tied for second for the most wins in a month without a loss in NBA history, down from Atlanta’s 17-0 mark in January 2015.
The coach led the Suns to last season’s NBA Finals which they lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games.
The Suns are tied 2-2 with the Dallas Mavericks in the current Western Conference semifinals.
Williams has managed two teams in the NBA. He previously coached the New Orleans Pelicans for five seasons, from 2010 to 2015, with which he reached the postseason a couple of times, but was fired when the team was blown out in the first round of the playoffs in 2015.