Tuesday morning, the NBA sent out the following release regarding Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams’ $15,000 fine for “public criticism of the officiating”:
The “public criticism” came following a free throw disparity of 42 attempts by the Pelicans to 15 by the Suns. Additionally, the Pelicans were called for 16 personal fouls while the Suns were called for 28.
Here are the full comments from the Suns head coach:
Monty Williams' full response on the free-throw disparity in Game 4. That was about as agitated as I've seen him all season when it comes to officiating: pic.twitter.com/PFhOOcsWgq— Gerald Bourguet (@GeraldBourguet) April 25, 2022
Memphis Grizzlies head coach — and fellow Coach of the Year finalist — Taylor Jenkins was fined the same $15,000 for similar comments after their own game 4 loss that saw their series with the Minnesota Timberwolves tied 2-2 as well.
That would be what Williams was referring to with the “Coaches shouldn’t have to come up to the microphone and feel like they’re gonna get their heads cut off for speaking the truth” line.
Here are the comments from Jenkins on Saturday night, that seemed much harsher to me than what Williams said:
"In my opinion one of the most poorly officiated games I've ever seen in my NBA career."— Bally Sports: Grizzlies (@GrizzOnBally) April 24, 2022
Coach Jenkins after the Game 4 loss. pic.twitter.com/eZynhRXmHD
Both teams play their respective game 5s tonight (Suns-Pelicans at 7 p.m. following Grizzlies-Timberwolves at 4:30 p.m. with both on TNT), so we’ll see if the pleas from either coach make a difference in how each game is called.
Personally, I understand that the NBA doesn’t want coaches publicly criticizing the officials because it makes them and the league look bad, but you know what else makes the officials and the league look bad? Bad officiating.