James Harden on “rude and arrogant” referee Scott Foster: “It’s personal”

The games between the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets have been must-see NBA games this season. In the latest twist in the Lakers’ 19-point comeback win was referee Scott Foster right in the middle of the drama. Houston’s stars James Harden and Chris Paul weren’t just upset about the loss, but apparently have a history and big problems with Foster, who whistled fouls on the all-stars at critical moments of the game Thursday night.

The usually chill and subdued Harden (I’ll have what he’s having) was uncharacteristically outspoken after the game: “Scott Foster .. I never really talk about officiating, but he’s just rude and arrogant.” And The Beard was asked if he think there’s a personal vendetta against him and the Rockets. “For sure, it’s personal. For sure. I don’t think he should be able to even officiate our games anymore, honestly.”

Chris Paul was similarly frustrated with Foster, saying this after the game: “I don’t know what else to do, know what I mean?” Paul said, referring to his poor relationship with Foster. “I met with the league with him before and all this stuff. I don’t know what else to do.”

At least Foster isn’t Tim Donaghy, the referee that infamously rigged games to his benefit. A recent report from ESPN confirmed those accusations that Donaghy conspired to fix NBA games getting paid $2000 each game. With Bet Lucky welcome offer, you might be able to win as much as Donaghy. Considering that experienced NBA refs make a good salary, two thousand bucks isn’t life-changing, unless you fix dozens of games a year.

Back to Foster. Chris Paul previously called him out last year. In January 2018, Paul’s comments about the official were consistent with Harden’s concerns around how uncommunicative and unwilling to discuss calls with players. Here’s what Paul said last year after the Rockets beat the Blazers:

“Yeah, Scott Foster at his finest,” Paul said per ESPN. “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.”

Seven of the twelve fouls that Foster called on the Houston Rockets last night came in the fourth quarter. That included a technical foul on Chris Paul after fouling out and with just 33 seconds left in the game. Despite Foster, Harden was able to keep his 30 point game streak alive. He hit 30 points on the nose extended his streak to 32 consecutive games before also fouling out late in the fourth quarter. The Lakers won the game 111-106.

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