On Sunday, the Phoenix Suns visited the Oklahoma City Thunder, which marked Kevin Durant’s return to the city in which he spent much of his NBA career and made his name in.
It also provided Durant an opportunity to gain some limited but valuable reps with his new teammates.
He has missed the majority of his time with Phoenix since being traded there in early February due to a sprained MCL and a sprained ankle.
But this contest is also notable for a classy move the Thunder franchise made.
It reserved an empty, unoccupied seat in honor of Suns head coach Monty Williams’ wife, who passed away in 2016.
The OKC Thunder reserved an empty seat unoccupied for tonight’s game in honor of Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams’ late wife who passed in 2016.
It would have been Ingrid Williams’ birthday today.
The seat was where Monty would sit in when he was their assistant coach in… pic.twitter.com/joAQo8iPhC
— NBA Buzz (@OfficialNBABuzz) April 2, 2023
Sunday would’ve been Ingrid Williams’ birthday, and it was a wonderful gesture by the Thunder.
"Today would've been my wife's birthday. They honored my wife by not allowing anybody to sit in her seats. When I found out, it really messed me up"
Suns coach Monty Williams thanked the Thunder organization for honoring his late wife.
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) April 2, 2023
Fans on Twitter were touched by the move.
Monty is a good man , and that was 👏🏼👏🏼 awesome by the thunder
— Michael Young (@MagicMike1897) April 2, 2023
Monty Williams is a role model.
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) April 2, 2023
Extremely classy, from their hearts. Thank you OKC 🙏
— Diaspora2022 (@Diaspora2022_) April 2, 2023
Monty Williams is good for the soul and good for basketball
— Tim Matus (@TimMatus12) April 3, 2023
Williams isn’t just a fine coach, but he has gained a reputation around pro basketball for also being an honorable man.
Before taking over as the Suns’ head coach for the 2019-20 season, he spent a year in Oklahoma City as an associate head coach alongside Billy Donovan in Durant’s last campaign there.
That season, the Thunder made it to the Western Conference Finals and opened up a 3-1 series lead over the 73-win Golden State Warriors, only to be eliminated by the defending NBA champs in seven games.
With Phoenix, Williams reached the NBA Finals in 2021, and with the 2014 league MVP on board and some extreme parity throughout the West, he has a real shot at repeating that feat this summer.NEXT: Fans In Oklahoma City Were Not Happy With Kevin Durant Sunday