Fred VanVleet Rips Officiating Following Loss To Clippers

Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet will likely be facing a significant fine from the NBA after he laid into the officiating – and referee Ben Taylor in particular – following his team’s defeat at the hands of the Clippers on Wednesday night, writes Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.

The Raptors, who lost by eight points, were called for 23 fouls compared to 18 for the Clippers, Youngmisuk notes. That’s not a huge disparity, but Los Angeles shot 17 more free throws than Toronto (31-14) and VanVleet was called for a technical foul by Taylor in the third quarter.

“I don’t mind, I’ll take a fine, I don’t really care,” VanVleet began (Twitter video link via Faizal Khamisa of “I thought Ben Taylor was f—ing terrible tonight. I think that on most nights, you know, 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.”

The Raptors suffered a five-point loss on Monday in a game in which they were called for 20 fouls, compared to just 12 for the Nuggets. With Denver up by one point in the final minute of the game, referee Scott Foster whistled Raptors forward Scottie Barnes for a technical foul and ejected him.

“Most of the refs are trying hard,” VanVleet continued. “I like a lot of the refs, they’re trying hard, they’re pretty fair, they communicate well. And then you got the other ones who just want to be d—s and it just kind of f—s the game up. Nobody’s coming to see that s–t. They come to see the players. I think we’re losing a little bit of the fabric of what the NBA is and was.”

VanVleet also referred to his technical foul on Wednesday as “bulls–t” and pointed out that Taylor has been responsible for several of his techs this season. Of VanVleet’s eight technical fouls this season, five have occurred in games Taylor was working, and three of those were called by Taylor himself, per Youngmisuk.

“At a certain point as a player, you feel it’s personal,” VanVleet said. “It’s never a good place to be.”

The maximum amount the NBA can fine a player without being subject to independent arbitration is $50K. Most fines for criticism of officiating are smaller than that, but most critics don’t go as far as VanVleet did, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Raptors guard docked $50K for this comments.

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