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Suns' Monty Williams Suggests Reserved Sections for Visiting Players' Families

Doric SamMay 10, 2022

Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

In the wake of Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul's family being harassed by Dallas Mavericks fans on Sunday, Phoenix head coach Monty Williams suggested that a potential solution could be the NBA implementing a special section in the stands for players' families.

"The situations are getting to a place now where I really feel like families, who are there to support their loved ones, need to be protected a bit more," Williams said at Monday's practice. "Whether or not we have to give these people a section, a suite, something has to be done. Because we can't wait for it to get to a level or two higher, before we do what we need to do. Yesterday was unnecessary."

During Sunday's Game 4 against the Dallas Mavericks, an incident occurred in which a pair of fans were removed from the game after making physical contact with Paul's mother, Robin, and his wife, Jada. They were seated near the Suns bench along with Paul's children, who witnessed the situation and "felt very unsafe."

A statement released by the Mavericks stated that an investigation concluded that the fans "attempted to give unwanted hugs and have conversations" with members of Paul's family. The two fans have been banned from American Airlines Center until 2023.

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

Statement from the Dallas Mavericks on the incident involving Chris Paul’s family and fans. Two fans, who gave unwanted hugs to Paul’s family, will be banned from American Airlines Center until 2023: <a href="https://t.co/tDTVcD36uU">pic.twitter.com/tDTVcD36uU</a>

Paul didn't speak to the media after Monday's practice. Phoenix forward Cam Johnson said he feels that the fans have to do better at controlling themselves and it can't solely be up to security guards to have to police them constantly.

"A large part of the responsibility has to be on fans," Johnson said. "They just can't act that way. There's no other way around it. You've got to address the problem with the real problem. It's that a fan can't go up to someone's mother and harass them."

The Suns lost Sunday's game 111-101 to fall into a 2-2 tie in the Western Conference Semifinals. Phoenix will look to bounce back on Tuesday when it hosts Game 5.

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