Fred VanVleet Spoke His X-Rated Truth About NBA Ref Ben Taylor | Sometimes The Stripes Need A G-Check

Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet went off on referee Ben Taylor for his officiating during the Raptors’ 108-100 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night at Crypto.com Arena. In his postgame media availability VanVleet had a lot to get off his chest. No doubt he will be hearing from the league about his fine shortly.

“I don’t mind, I’ll take a fine. I don’t really care. I thought Ben Taylor was f***ing terrible tonight,” VanVleet said in his postgame media availability. “I think that most nights, out of the three (referees), there’s one or two that just f— the game up. It’s been like that a couple of games in a row. Denver was tough, obviously. You come out tonight, competing pretty hard and I get a bulls— tech that changes the whole dynamic of the game, changed the whole flow of the game. Most of the refs are trying hard. I like a lot of the refs. They’re trying hard. They’re pretty fair and communicate well. And then you got the other ones who just want to be d—- and just kind of f— up the game…You can look it up, most of my techs this year have been with Ben Taylor officiating. At a certain point as a player you feel it’s personal.”

Were The Refs Out To Get The Raptors?

The Raptors were called for 23 fouls to the Clippers’ 18, but L.A. had 31 free throw attempts compared with 14 for Toronto. VanVleet was whistled for a technical foul by Taylor, his eighth of the season, with 7:02 remaining in the third quarter. The Clippers were up seven at the time.

Queue the Michael Jordan meme “And I took that personally.” But who will be out for revenge the next time VanVleet and the Raptors take the floor?

After games emotions run high, this media member has been in many locker rooms after the players’ cool-down period and things are still tense. It’s part of the deal with high stakes professional sports.

What makes this interesting is VanVleet was at the podium after showering and dressing. He had plenty of time to cool off but he clearly had a point to make and he made it.

Three of VanVleet’s eight technicals have come from Taylor, with one other coming from another official in a game in which Taylor was working.

That’s less than 40% of his techs from Taylor in a very small sample size. The reality there is that VanVleet doesn’t get issued a lot of technicals, but it just so happens Taylor has given him the most. Whether consciously or subconsciously that plays into VanVleet’s mind and he likely has en edge in games where Taylor is the official.

NBA Officials Are Monitored And Graded

It could also be true that the same holds true for Taylor. But referees are monitored for stuff like this. The league is very sensitive about officials being questioned and anything interfering with the integrity of the game.

Despite what fans think, officials don’t cost teams games. Again, there is a governing body that monitors the referees and every game they work looking for biases against individual players and teams.

Refs are human and there are certainly players they like and ones that they don’t. But they are constantly being monitored and reviewed and if anything, bordering on bias is apparent, that ref would probably lose their job.

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