The first annual NBA Awards show was full of good highlights, but one of our favorites was when TNT sportscaster Ernie Johnson presented the Sager Strong Award to Spurs’ VP of basketball operations Monty Williams.
The award, given in the late Craig Sager’s name, honors someone in basketball who displays a tremendous amount of courage in life’s most difficult circumstances.
“…A tradition that allows us to always remember his [Craig Sager’s] words about life as he was near death,” Johnson explained. “‘Time is something that cannot be bought, it cannot be wagered with God, and it’s not in endless supply. Time is simply how you live your life.'”
While he was the associate head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016, Williams lost his beloved wife, Ingrid, in a car accident.
“He loved her like I’ve never seen anybody love anyone else,” Tim Duncan said in the video highlighting Williams.
During the memorial service, Williams eloquently said,
“Everybody’s praying for me and my family, which is right. But let us now forget that there were two people in this situation, and that family needs prayer as well. And we have no ill will toward that family…This is hard for my family, but this will work out, and my wife would punch me if I were to sit up here and whine about what’s going on. That doesn’t take away the pain…”
For his strength and bravery, it’s no wonder Williams was a lock to win and wear a Sager-inspired colorful blazer.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) June 27, 2017
Here’s his acceptance speech.