LOS ANGELES — Toronto Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet blasted referee Ben Taylor for his officiating during the Raptors’ 108-100 loss to the LA Clippers on Wednesday night at Arena.
“I don’t mind, I’ll take a fine, I don’t really care,” VanVleet said. “I thought Ben Taylor was terrible tonight. I think that on most nights, you know out of the three [officials], there’s one or two that just f— the game up. It’s been like that a couple of games in a row.
“[Losing on Monday at] 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—s and just kind of f— the game up. And no one’s coming to see that s—. They come to see the players.”
VanVleet added, “I know the refs are trying their best… We’re gonna disagree at times. I think there are healthier ways to do it than what transpired last night. I take full accountability for my actions and what I said, but I think it’s a learning lesson for everybody.”
His apology did not save him from getting fined, as VanVleet was hit with a massive $30,000 fine. He expressed in his initial rant that he was not worried about getting fined, and he certainly meant it, going off in a profanity-laced rant that included individually calling out official Ben Taylor.
The Raptors also watched Scott Foster, another NBA official, eject Raptors forward Scottie Barnes in the fourth quarter against the Nuggets Monday.
The technical foul VanVleet received was the third called against him by Taylor this season.
“You come out tonight, competing pretty hard and I get a (lousy) tech that changes the whole dynamic of the game, changed the whole flow of the game.”
VanVleet, who is in his sixth year in the NBA, was called for his eighth technical of the season with 7:02 remaining in the third quarter. Paul George made the free throw to put the Clippers up 65-57.
VanVleet said the reason he picked up the technical was because he was imploring his team to play through what he thought were some questionable calls, albeit with more colorful language. He also said he understood there is a fine line on what he can say, but thought Taylor didn’t give him enough leeway.
“There’s been certain times this year where I feel our team is getting consumed with the way the whistle is going,” VanVleet said. “Especially after the night we just had in Denver, the way that finished, so there were a couple calls earlier that we all disagreed with. And if I say to my team, ‘Come on, guys, let’s keep playing [through] the bull—-‘ and that warrants a tech, I think that’s a little bit crazy. Like what are we doing? Know 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 been on this year with some of our officials in this league is getting out of hand and I’ll take my fine for speaking on it, but it’s ridiculous.”
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