Raptors’ Fred VanVleet blasts official after loss to Clippers
Ohm YoungmisukESPN Staff Writer 3:08 AM ET3 Minutes Read
LOS ANGELES — Toronto Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet blasted referee Ben Taylor for his practice during the Raptors’ 108-100 loss to the LA Clippers on Wednesday night at Crypto.com Arena.
VanVleet didn’t hold back in his postgame press conference and will likely receive a hefty fine from the NBA.
“I don’t care, I’m going to get a fine, I really don’t care,” VanVleet said. “I thought Ben Taylor was terrible tonight. I think most nights, you know all three [officials], there are one or two that just f— the game up. It has been like this for several matches in a row.
“[Losing on Monday at] Denver was tough, obviously. You’re going out tonight, competing really hard, and I get a bulls— technology that changes the whole dynamic of the game, changed the whole course of the game.
“Most judges are trying too hard. I like a lot of judges, they’re trying too hard, they’re pretty fair and they communicate well. And then you have the others who just want to be d—s and just kind of f— the game started. And nobody’s coming to see it—. They come to see the players.”
The Raptors were called for 23 fouls to the Clippers’ 18, but LA had 31 free throw attempts compared to 14 for Toronto. VanVleet was whistled for a technical foul by Taylor with 7:02 left in the third quarter. The Clippers were seven at the time.
As Toronto got within 70-68 late in the quarter, the Clippers pushed the lead to 12 just before the start of the fourth.
The third quarter tackle was VanVleet’s eighth of the season.
The Raptors have had two straight games with technical fouls in the second half. During their 118-113 loss at Denver on Monday, official Scott Foster called Scottie Barnes for a technical foul before ejecting him with 28 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The Nuggets were leading by one at the time.
Foster said in the postgame pool report that Barnes was ejected for a technical because “he used language that directly questioned the integrity of the crew.”
Three of VanVleet’s eight tackles have come from Taylor, with another from another official on a play Taylor was working. VanVleet said that “at a certain point as a player, you think it’s personal and it’s never a good place to be.”
He was asked if something he said Wednesday night led to him getting a tech.
“There have been certain moments this year where I feel like our team is getting worn out with the way the whistle is going,” VanVleet said. “Especially after the night we just had in Denver, the way it ended, so there were some calls early on that we all disagreed with. And if I tell my team, ‘Come on, guys, let’s keep playing. [through] bull—-‘ and that warrants a technology, I think it’s a little crazy. Like what are we doing? You know what I mean?
“And there’s a fine line, of course, I understand that. But I think the jurisdiction and the power trip we’ve been on this year with some of our officials in this league is getting out of hand and I’m going to take the fine my for talking about it, but it’s f— funny.”