The Thunder had one heck of an assistant head coach in Monty Williams. Williams had head coaching experience and became quite close to the Thunder players. Sadly enough, Monty went through some great tragedy when he lost his wife to a car accident. Monty took it hard, he has always been a family man and has a large family. Since he cares so much about his children he decided to not return to the Thunder as assistant head coach.
Now that the Thunder’s season is over they got right down to finding a replacement for Williams. The earlier they could get the deal done the easier it would be to integrate the coach with not only the system but also the players. A couple days ago the Thunder were able to sign their new man, Adrian Griffin. Griffin has never been a head coach in the league but he still has plenty of coaching experience and many think highly of him.
Griffin played nine seasons in the league from 1999 to 2008. When Griffin’s playing career ended in 2008 he quickly found an assistant coaching job with the Milwaukee Bucks under Scott Skiles. He would coach under Skiles for two years before going to the Chicago Bulls for 2010-2015. In 2015 he returned to coaching under Skiles this time in Orlando. When Skiles recently left the Magic it was believed Griffin was next in line to be head coach, then the Magic decided otherwise and went with Frank Vogel.
After all of that Griffin has now ended up with the Thunder. Griffin brings a couple of things to OKC, a defensive mind and good connections. The defensive mind is what the Thunder need, while their defense stepped up in the playoffs, they were slacking in the regular season without Monty Williams. Many believe that Williams was a major defensive mind for OKC also. Griffin’s connections come from his experience with the Olympic team, he is currently scheduled to be an assistant coach under Coach K this summer. Any work the Thunder can get with a coach working with other NBA players is great for them.
It looks like the Thunder have found an assistant coach that resembles their team, young, full potential, and gunning for much more. Griffin will surely fit in with OKC. At one time he even played a couple of months of basketball with Kevin Durant. All hopes that Griffin can help this team continue to grow and become stronger on the defensive end.