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Add another to the list of NBA players who are frustrated about the growing friction between referees and players.
Chris Paul, late of the Los Angeles Clippers and now of the Houston Rockets, took it a step further Wednesday night, calling our veteran official Scott Foster by name after a game with the Portland Trail Blazers.
“Yeah, Scott Foster at his finest,” Paul said. “You know what I mean? He just never fails.
“Some of them, you can [communicate] with. You’ve just gotta figure out who you can and you can’t. I got a tech tonight. I’m over there with (official) Courtney (Kirkland) saying, ‘That’s Scott, that’s Scott,’ and I got a tech.
“That’s history there. He the man. That’s who they pay to see.”
Paul, mind you, said this after his team won, 121-112.
Foster, a veteran of 24 seasons as an NBA referee, was named the league’s worst official in a survey conducted by the Broderick Turner of Los Angeles Times in 2016. That survey was of 30 players and coaches, who were not named.
Paul, the president of the NBA players’ association, came just days after Draymond Green of the Warriors told The Athletic that personal issues between referees and players are “ruining the league.”
Green went as far as to suggest the NBA get “a whole new crop” of officials. He was hit with a $25,000 by the league for public ciriticism of officiating.
While Green has been slapped with an NBA-high 11 technical fouls this season, but five away from the automatic one-game suspension once a player is assessed 16 technicals, Paul is eighth, earning six.
However, while Paul said after the game Wednesday night he is not concerned with putting himself in line to be suspended, he made it clear the situation is coming to a head.
He also said he expects to take part in a meeting during All-Star Weekend regarding the rising tension between the players and the referees.
“Man, you’ve just got to hope there’s a system in place, just making sure they get checked just as much as we do,” Paul said. “Even some of those double techs that they call, it’s really quickly and stuff like that. That’s $2,500 every time a tech’s called on a player.”
He said be does believe there is middle ground to be reached between the players and the referees, but took one final swipe at Foster.
“We’re going to figure it out,” Paul said. “There’s got to be a way that we have dialogue and stuff like that.
“I don’t know, good ol’ Scott Foster, though. That guy …”