The NBA has fined Chris Paul for publicly criticizing referee Lauren Holtkamp after the Clippers were destroyed by the Cavaliers. Keep in mind that Paul has a personal management team made up of several female members.
“Some of the technical fouls were ridiculous. The tech that I got right there was ridiculous. I don’t care what nobody says, I don’t care what she says that’s terrible. There’s no way that could be a tech. We try to get the ball out fast every time down the court, and when we did that she said, “uh huh”. I said why uh huh? And she gave me a tech. That’s ridiculous. If that’s the case this might not be for her.”
The NBA’s overreaction to Paul’s comments reflects its recent obsession with gender issues. Holtkamp is the only female ref in the NBA but that does not excuse her from criticism after bad calls are made. What’s worse is that the Cavaliers were playing on all cylinders shutting down the Clippers, but the techs called were extremely excessive.
LA was given 5 technicals in the game, 4 in the third quarter, 3 of them in a 52 second span. Clippers player Matt Barnes got ejected after saying to the referees “don’t give them the game”. Paul was given a tech for asking why the Clippers cannot inbound the ball quickly. Both of those are pretty awful calls. The referee’s Union and the NBA want to protect their new female ref which is understandable but if things are to be equal players must be allowed to ask a question without getting a technical. What’s even crazier is, I saw this situation as it happened during the game and the refs were legitimately looking like they were makinf calls in favor of the Cavaliers. It is important to note that the Cavaliers didn’t need the refs to win, but they certainly helped out.
The National Basketball Referees association put out a statement saying:
“The NBRA deplores the personal and unprofessional comments made by Chris Paul. She belongs.”
Another emotional overreaction from a group still thinking about the fact that their latest member is a woman. Paul is an NBA superstar who has been through a lot in his time in this league, if he can’t make a simple statement about his frustrations with a particular ref than who can? If the NBA and the NBRA are going to blindly support a referee’s awful calls just because she is a woman or is being criticized, then it is to be expected that your stars are going to come out and voice their displeasure.