Suns HC Monty Williams fined $20K for NBA officiating comments: 'I'm over it'

Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams was fined for his recent comments concerning the officiating in a Wednesday loss the Los Angeles Lakers, the league announced Friday.

The costly comments came as Williams' singular answer before he left the postgame news conference. Clearly frustrated, the aired his grievances with the free throw disparity in the 122-111 Lakers win. The Lakers shot 46 free throws to the Suns' 20 and outscored Phoenix by 21 points at the line.

"Where do you see a game with 46 free throws for one team?" Williams said. "That's just not right. I don't care how you slice it. It is happening to us too much. Other teams are reaching, other teams are hitting, and we're not getting the same call, and I'm tired of it. It's old. Forty-six to 20 free throws with Devin Booker on our team. He gets 12. I mean, our bench had no free throws. It's just ... I'm over it. Been talking about the same thing for a while. Doesn't matter what team it is."

The Suns have been called for 31 personal fouls combined across each of their past two games. Before Los Angeles, the Suns fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder on the road Sunday. Williams used the consecutive losses to allude to a pattern of disparity against his team specifically.

"Last game, Shai [Gilgeous-Alexander], I think he had 19 free throws. And it's old. And I'm tired of talking about free throws. Our guys have to do their job, we understand that. But that's a huge disparity. Forty-six free throws. And I'll say it again: 46 to 20. That's it. That's all I got to say," Williams said Wednesday, before walking away from the podium.

Booker scored 33 points Wednesday night, after Williams mentioned the star guard in another irritated news conference appearance last Tuesday when the Suns fell to the Milwaukee Bucks. Giannis Antetokounmpo had a dominant showing that Williams didn't feel was officiated fairly.

"I can sit there and go through what you all guys already know. You just put my name on the quote. You saw it. It's not fair. Book got three free throws, and Jrue Holiday is one of the most physical defenders in the game. He has three. Giannis has 24 free throws. It's ridiculous. There's no other way to put it," Williams said.

Antetokounmpo finished the game with 36 points on 11-for-23 shooting, making 14 of 24 free throws.

"That's hard to swallow. This has happened a number of times we've played them. It's hard to tell our guys to keep their level of poise because that's frustrating. They beat us, make no mistake about it but that's a hard one to swallow. It's happened too many times," Williams said.

Jan 19, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams (right) alongside NBA referee Kevin Cutler against the Brooklyn Nets at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams is fed up with NBA officiating. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports) (USA TODAY USPW / reuters)

Williams is not alone in his sentiments, as criticism for NBA referees has been widespread across the league. Toronto Raptors star Fred VanVleet was recently fined for similar, passionate comments about how officials "F****** the game up."

Friday night, the No. 4 Suns will battle their Western Conference standings neighbor in the No. 3 Sacramento Kings.

Like Williams, Sacramento's head coach Mike Brown has been hit with an officiating-related fine. His came back in December to the tune of $25,000 for "aggressively pursuing and directing foul language" toward a referee.