Monty Williams to coach in All-Star Game after leading Phoenix Suns to NBA's best record

Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns will coach Team LeBron James at next month's All-Star Game in Cleveland.

The Suns' 115-110 win against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night -- their 10th straight -- pushed their record to an NBA-best 40-9, meaning no other team in the West can pass them by Feb. 6, the cutoff for All-Star Game consideration.

As a result, Williams, the third-year Suns coach, will coach in the All-Star Game for the first time, and the rest of his staff will join him. He will be the first head coach from Phoenix at the All-Star Game since Mike D'Antoni in 2007.

Suns point guard and All-Star Game-bound Chris Paul said getting Williams the honor has been something the players have thought about over the last few weeks.

"Over the course of the long season, there's nothing wrong with having a little benchmark, a little goal,'' Paul said. "I'm just happy for Monty, happy for our staff. That's cool."

Williams said he was appreciative of that.

"It's a huge blessing to be in this position where you can be the caretaker of an organization and represent the city, the team, your family,'' Williams said. "I'm mindful of all the sacrifices that people make so I can be in this position. It's a team effort for sure.''

Which Eastern Conference coach leads Team Kevin Durant is still up for grabs. The Miami Heat currently lead the Chicago Bulls by a half-game atop the standings. The Philadelphia 76ers are 1.5 games back, but Doc Rivers is ineligible since he coached in the All-Star Game last season.

Starters for the Feb. 20 showcase were announced Thursday. James and Durant were selected as captains after leading the fan vote.

The All-Star reserves, who will be selected by the coaches in both conferences, will be unveiled Thursday on TNT. James and Durant then will pick their respective teams, a format the league first instituted in 2018.