Thunder assistant coach Monty Williams will not return to the team this season following his wife’s death, the team announced Friday.
Williams’s wife, Ingrid, died last month in a car accident at age 44. Williams, a former head coach with the Pelicans and now a key assistant on Billy Donovan’s staff in his first year as an NBA head coach, will spend the rest of the season away from the team and with his family.
The Thunder are headed for the playoffs, at 44–20 and third in the West entering Friday.
“The most important thing for Monty during this time is for him to be with his family, and the most important thing for us as an organization is to support him as a person, in any way that we can,” general manager Sam Presti said in a statement. “Even though Monty will not return to the team this season, his presence will be felt by all of us within the program and we will remain close with him and his family.”
Williams also serves as an assistant on Mike Krzyzewski’s USA Basketball coaching staff, alongside Jim Boeheim and Tom Thibodeau. ESPN’s Marc Stein reports Williams has been told to take as much time as he needs to decide whether he will coach in the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.