The Suns made two changes to their coaching staff as the Orlando restart gets underway. Steve Blake, who had stops with the Trail Blazers as both a player and coach, was among two coaches that are no longer listed on the Monty Williams’ staff.
On Saturday, Williams acknowledged the departure of Blake and Larry Greer in a conversation with Arizona Republic’s Duane Rankin.
“What they brought (to the team), especially the first 65 games and laying the foundation for our team and our program was invaluable,” Williams said after Saturday’s practice for the NBA restart at Walt Disney World Resort.
“We’re thankful for their contributions, (but) at the same time, everybody has to adapt in this league,” Williams said.
When asked about the specifics in regards to the coaching staff changes, Williams cited that the motivations of individuals and organizations constantly evolve.
“The details of it all, I don’t want to get into,” Williams said. “Organizations go through change and there are times where guys have to make decisions that are best for them and their families. It’s a tough loss to not have those guys, but those decisions have to be made and as a leader, I have to respect what’s best for the organization and what’s best for the individuals.”
Williams, who served on Nate McMillan’s staff while Blake was a player in Portland, highlighted his close relationship with the former Maryland standout.
“I’ve known Stevie since he was, gosh, a really young player,” Williams said. “Not quite a rookie, but I had him in Portland and I’ve watched him progress into a really good NBA player. Seen his family grow up and a lot of other boring stories that you don’t want to hear.”
Blake departed the Blazers coaching staff in June of 2019 to join Williams in Phoenix. After a short stint with the Sydney Kings (Australia’s NBL) in 2016, Blake retired as a player.
You can read Rankin’s full story on the Suns’ coaching staff at the Arizona Republic.