This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, December 15, 2022:
After losing a game that his team should have won, Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams embraced Houston Rockets coach Stephen Silas, a moment that was caught on video and, since Monday night, has garnered nearly 400,000 views.
When asked about the embrace, Silas, whose father passed away just three days earlier, told reporters:
Everybody knows he’s one of the best people in the world … it means a lot. He has a great way of communicating. Tonight, his way of communicating was through a hug, which I needed.
I love him for that. He’s a good man.
Williams disagrees. Named NBA Coach of the Year in May, Williams, an unashamed Christian, sees himself vastly differently:
There’s a lot of times within the faith, as a Christian, that most people think we walk around like we have it together.… I just got to be straight with you: I need the Lord because I don’t have it together. I am broken. I am flawed.
Williams said that in the past he “had the idea that because I was faith-based, things would work out well for me. I thought that being a man of faith, [success] would be a byproduct of that.”
But as his faith matured, he understood better the trials that come with accepting the cross of Christ:
Having been around a little bit, I’ve come to realize that my faith is something I can hang onto in the good and not-so-good times, and it allows me to deal with both successes and the failures and the in-between.
It’s not a good luck charm.
Then he added:
Whether it’s winning or losing, or getting a contract or not getting signed by a team and all the in-between, my faith allows me to hopefully have something to hold onto that’s much bigger than sports.
He needed that something in 2016 when his wife was killed in a head-on collision with another car driven by a woman under the influence of methamphetamines. During the funeral service, Williams astonished the world first by quoting Romans 8:28 — “All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose” — and then forgiving the woman who killed his wife:
We cannot serve the Lord if we do not have a heart of forgiveness….
Everybody is praying for me and my family, which is right. But let us not forget that there were two people in this situation. And that family needs prayer as well … we have no ill will towards that family.
That family didn’t wake up wanting to hurt my wife. Life is hard. It is very hard and that was tough, but we hold no ill will….
We, as a group, as brothers united in unity, should be praying for that family because they grieve as well.
So, let’s not lose sight of what’s important. God will work this out.
God continues to use Williams for His eternal purposes. The three children riding with his wife at the time of the accident survived. He remarried. He was named head coach of the Phoenix Suns in May 2019, and a year later was named coach of the year after leading his time to a record 64 wins and just 18 losses.
He has “anchor” verses that he clings to during difficult times:
One of my anchor verses is Colossians 3:23, doing my work as “unto the Lord and not unto man.”
Another anchor verse for me is Matthew 6:33: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”
Those two verses help me in my coaching because no matter what’s going on, a big win or tough loss, I know that I’m there to do God’s will.
I don’t do it well, and I fail daily. But that’s my reference point. That’s my lighthouse. In doing that, my goal is to serve and to elevate people as best I can.
At the moment, his team is 16-12 on the season.