Raptors’ Fred VanVleet blasts official after loss to Clippers

Ohm Young MisukESPN Writer3 minute read

LOS ANGELES — Toronto Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet blasted referee Ben Taylor for officiating in 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 faces a hefty fine from the NBA.

“I don’t mind, I’ll get fined, I don’t care,” VanVleet said. “I thought Ben Taylor was terrible tonight. I think most nights, you know out of the three (officials), there’s one or two that come from f— the game. That’s how a few games in a row.

“(Losing Monday to) Denver was tough, obviously. You go out tonight, compete pretty hard, and I get a bull — technology that changes the whole dynamic of the game, changed the whole flow of the game.

“Most refs try hard. I like a lot of refs, they try hard, they’re pretty fair and communicate well. And then you have the others who just want to be d—s and just sort of f- — the game up. And no one comes to see this s—. They come to see the players.”

The Raptors were called for 23 fouls to the Clippers’ 18, but LA had 31 free throw attempts to Toronto’s 14. VanVleet was called for a technical foul by Taylor with 7:02 remaining in the third quarter. The Clippers were leading seven at the time.

As Toronto came within 70-68 later in the quarter, the Clippers extended the lead to 12 shortly before the start of the fourth.

The technical third quarter was VanVleet’s eighth of the season.

The Raptors have gone two straight games with technical fouls in the second half. In 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 post-match pool report that Barnes was ejected on a technical because “he used verbiage that directly questioned the integrity of the crew”.

Three of VanVleet’s eight techniques come from Taylor, and one comes from another official in a game Taylor was working on. VanVleet said “at some point as a player you feel like it’s personal and it’s never a good place to be”.

He was asked if something he said Wednesday night caused him to see a technician.

“There were certain times this year where I felt our team was absorbed in how the whistle was going,” VanVleet said. “Especially after the night we just had in Denver, the way it ended, so there were a few calls earlier that we disagreed with. What if I tell my team: “Come on, guys, let’s keep playing (through) the bull—-” and that justifies a tech, I think that’s kinda crazy. Like what do we do? You see this what i mean?

“And there’s a fine line obviously, I understand that. But I think the jurisdiction and the power trip that we’ve had this year with some of our officials in this league is getting out of hand and I’m going to take my fine talking about it. , but it’s fucking ridiculous.”

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