“They’re going to fine me; I already said his name. We all know the history.” That’s how Chris Paul finished his answer on Scott Foster and officiating in last night’s Game 7. Yet again, a large part of the conversation won’t be Lou Dort scoring 30 or Harden’s monster block to ice the game. We will, with justifiable cause, talk about the refs.
In February 2019, Scott Foster officiated a Houston Rockets game. To remind you, Chris Paul and James Harden were teammates then. After the game, Harden said Foster is “rude and arrogant” and that he shouldn’t officiate Rockets games anymore. CP3 added he even had meetings with the league about his turbulent relationship with Foster and added he doesn’t “know what else to do.”
To be fair to Foster, Harden and Paul are guaranteed places at the Mr. Rushmore of continually complaining to the refs, while flopping like there’s no tomorrow. Your reputation follows you, and a lot of that, Harden and Paul brought on themselves.
Last night, Paul had another episode with Foster. CP3 got called for a delay of game because he was obviously tying his shoe only to give time to his coach to decide if he wants to challenge a call. Paul admitted doing so in his post-game interview and proceeded to explain what happened next.
“This has been going on in the bubble. They show the replays sometimes, and obviously, it’s an advantage if you get to see the replay before the challenge. I dropped down to tie my shoe up, so hopefully, we see the replay. Scott Foster walked over to me and told me, ‘Chris, you ain’t got to do that, I got them sweeping up the floor.’ OK, cool. So I start tying my shoe back up, and he still called delay of game. That sh** don’t make no sense.”
Chris Paul, NBA on ESPN
Paul went to point out the loss is on them. OKC had several chances to seal the game and just couldn’t make the right plays. But the league obviously has a referee-players problem. Situations like this don’t happen, particularly when taking into account something else CP3 mentioned.
To have the president of the players union and one of the leagues most experienced ref beefing like children is adding oil to fire. This is where Adam Silver needs to find his inner David Stern and let everyone know they need to cut that sh** out.