Pelicans coach: Emotional celebration due to son’s health

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) New Orleans Pelicans coach Monty Williams wants anybody who thinks he celebrated too much following the team’s playoff-clinching win over San Antonio to know his reaction had nothing to do with basketball.

Williams said he got emotional watching his 5-year-old son, Micah, soak in the festivities following Wednesday night’s 108-103 win over the defending champion Spurs. Micah nearly died when Williams’ wife, Ingrid, gave birth to him shortly after Williams took over as coach in New Orleans, he said.

”He was fighting for his life during delivery. Five years later, he’s on the floor with us enjoying that,” Williams said after New Orleans’ practice Friday, a day before the Pelicans play Game 1 against the Golden State Warriors. ”For me, as a dad, you put that in perspective. Tell me how you’re supposed to act. You know what I mean?

”So it wasn’t as much about basketball as much as it was my five kids have grown up in New Orleans. That little joker almost lost his life when we got there. And here he is, with all the screamers and all the stuff going on, my mind was, `Hey, man, I’m glad we won. This is awesome. But my little dude almost didn’t make it.’ Most people couldn’t even fathom that. They don’t even know.

”This is pretty much the first time I’ve talked about it. As a dad, what are you supposed to do? I don’t have the protocol when it comes to that kind of stuff. It’s me enjoying a good moment with my family.”

Williams did not elaborate on the complications surrounding Micah’s birth. New Orleans is in the playoffs for the first time since the 2010-11 season.

Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP