Chris Paul is eliminated from the playoffs, but he didn’t leave the NBA Bubble without taking one last shot at much-criticized NBA official Scott Foster.
Foster, who has a long history with both the Rockets’ James Harden and Paul, whistled the Oklahoma City point guard for a delay of game that resulted in a technical foul shortly before halftime of the Rockets’ 104-102 Game 7 win Wednesday night.
HISTORY LESSON: Chris Paul and James Harden’s history with NBA referee Scott Foster
After the loss, Paul said before the delay of game was called, he was indeed stalling by tying his shoe so he could get a peek at a replay to see if the Thunder should challenge the previous call.
“Scott Foster walked over to me and told me, ‘Chris, you ain’t gotta do that. I got them sweeping up the floor,’” Paul said after the Thunder loss. “OK, cool. So, I start tying my shoe back up and he still calls delay of game. That sh—don’t make no sense. He just … I don’t know. We could’ve won the game, but that situation … the league knows. Yeah. They gonna fine me. I said his name, we already know the history.”
Harden made the free throw after the technical foul to give the Rockets a 54-52 lead with 2:29 left in the first half.
Paul, who has lost his last 10 playoff games in which Foster was an official, also said that Foster approached him before the opening tip and told him he was the referee back in 2008 when Paul’s New Orleans Hornets lost to the Spurs in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals.
When Paul was with the Rockets, he criticized Foster after a loss to the Lakers in which the official gave technical fouls to both Paul and Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni.
“Yeah, Scott Foster at his finest,” Paul said that night of a technical foul he received from Foster when talking with official Courtney Kirkland. “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 [referee 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.”