PHOENIX — Saying there are two sides to the story, Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams will wait for the NBA’s investigation into team owner Robert Sarver’s conduct before taking any action.
ESPN published a lengthy story Thursday, based on dozens of interviews, that detailed multiple incidents of misogyny and racism during Sarver’s 17-year tenure as owner. Sarver has issued a series of firm denials in statements and comments through his attorneys.
“As someone who is the caretaker of a program, I find all these things that are being said serious in nature,” Williams said before the Suns played the Houston Rockets. “It takes courage to come out and express yourself. But at the same time, I’m aware there are two sides to this equation. … We still have to wait to see how clear the facts can appear.”
Williams said he had spoken with team captain and leader Chris Paul about the matter.
“As far as Chris is concerned, I think he probably feels the same way. I can’t speak for him,” Williams said.
Williams is in his third year as coach of the team. He pointed out that all of the allegations in the story took place before he came to the franchise in 2019.
“If any of that stuff happened while I was here, I wouldn’t be in this seat,” Williams said. “The league is doing an investigation, and we’ll know more obviously once that is settled.”
Williams said he didn’t know former Suns coach Earl Watson, who said on the record for the story that Sarver used racist language.
“I’m not going to talk to Earl,” Williams said. “That stuff happened before I was here. That doesn’t mean it’s not serious but I’m going to wait until the investigation takes place.”
Williams had multiple job offers when he came to the Suns, including from the Los Angeles Lakers. He said his discussions and subsequent relationship with Sarver were part of the reason he picked the Suns.
“Ownership was a big deal for me because of the conversations I had with Robert. We were pretty candid about things we needed to say,” Williams said. “To say that ownership didn’t play a big deal in my decision to come here would be false. I couldn’t do what I do if I didn’t have a partnership and relationship that I have with Robert the last two years.”