By: Kristen Swiger
The 2010 Hornets season proved to be anything but easy. With a list of injuries, a rookie head coach, and a period where the team didn’t even have an owner, the bugs had a good deal going against them.
However, Coach Monty Williams proved to New Orleans that he belonged here and was here to stay. “I think if people come here and experience the city, then they’ll want to be here. It takes time after Katrina, after all the things the team has been through, to build it back up again, and we’re in that process,” he said.
Even with the news that lead Assistant Coach Mike Malone plans to leave the Hornets to coach the Golden State Warriors in California, Williams’ standards remain high for whoever fills the position.
“I don’t want this to become a job where people say I want to be here as a stepping stone to go somewhere else. We want guys who want to be here, and they have to fit the mold that Mike fit,” he said. “Mike was committed to this job, and it was evident by our success.”
2010 first-round draft pick Quincy Pondexter also has his sights set high for next season. After averaging just under three points a game, Pondexter is determined to get his team into the playoffs next year.
“If I’ve got to go out and defend the best player and not take a shot, that’s fine with me. As long as my team gets a “W” at the end of the day, that’s the role I’m playing,” he said.
With the uncertainty of whether or not there will even be a NBA summer league this year, Coach Williams stressed the importance of his players continuing to condition in order to prepare for next season.