Around midday AZ time on Wednesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news that the Congolese native would be joining reigning Coach of the Year Monty Williams’s staff with the Phoenix Suns:
Raptors 905 G League head coach Patrick Mutombo is joining the Phoenix Suns as an assistant coach, sources tell ESPN. Mutombo had previously served as an assistant with Toronto and Denver.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 14, 2022
Mutombo never played in the NBA, but he does have lots of NBA coaching experience:
- Denver Nuggets assistant, 2012-15
- Austin Spurs (G League) assistant, 2015-16
- Toronto Raptors assistant, 2016-20
- Raptors 905 (G League) head coach, 2020-22
As a painter on the side, Mutombo brings a special kind of perspective to the game, describing himself as observant and saying “there’s nothing else in the world I’d rather do than coach.”
Raptors 905 assistant coach John Bennett:
“Coach Mutombo is extremely invested in winning for everyone involved in the organization he’s with… He knows how life-changing winning can be for players and staff and as a result is relentlessly committed to the success of the team he’s coaching.”
Toronto Raptors two-way rookie forward Justin Champagnie:
“Coach Mutombo was the best… He helped me find love in the game again. He helped me learn how to be a professional and helped me learn how to give it my all every time I step on that court.”
Mutombo is also credited with the development of numerous high-quality Raptors, including Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and OG Anunoby.
As it applies to Phoenix, the hiring marks an emphasis on furthering the culture that Williams has already established, as well as on development of young players like Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, and Deandre Ayton (if he sticks around), as well as any rookies the Suns bring in through pick acquisition or undrafted free agents.
David (@theIVpointplay) pointed out that Mutombo has deeply-rooted interest in Suns reserve forward Ish Wainright, who played for Mutombo and the Raptors summer league squad in 2021:
By all indications, Mutombo will make a positive impact in the Phoenix organization through both basketball actions and off-the-court actions.
For even more on who Coach Mutombo is, check out this long-form interview from last August he did for the Raptors 905 team YouTube channel.