Chris Paul doesn’t like referee Scott Foster. Foster doesn’t like Paul. And NBA commissioner Adam Silver doesn’t like that the two are openly feuding.
Adam Silver issued a stern warning to Chris Paul and Scott Foster amid the pair's longstanding feud https://t.co/bASq6CoWa6— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) December 6, 2023
Speaking on Sirius XM, the commissioner shared how the NBA is dealing with the conflict between one of its highest-rated senios officials and one its most respected veterans.
“The way we’ve tried to handle that, is talk to both of them and say, ‘The expectation is that you’re going to be professional,’” said Silver. “And deal privately with the two of them and say guys, ‘Whatever the bad blood is between you two, you don’t have to be friends, but you got to both go out and do your jobs.’ So that’s my expectation moving forward.”
Foster and Paul’s most recent dustup came Nov. 22 when the veteran official gave Paul two technicals fouls and tossed him from the Golden State Warriors’ 123-115 loss to the Phoenix Suns. Paul had some choice words for Foster, one of them being Too Short’s favorite word.
Chris Paul called Scott Foster a bitch after getting ejected pic.twitter.com/8iCCwfmbbO— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) November 23, 2023
The two have been openly hostile for many years, and it’s hard to argue that the conflict hasn’t hurt Paul’s teams. Paul went nine years and 363 days between playoff wins in games officiated by Foster, breaking a 13-game playoff losing streak in April of this year. There’s so much mutual dislike that CP3, Foster, his father, Doc Rivers, and a retired NBA referee had a sitdown years ago, prompted by an unspecificed incident involving Foster and Paul’s son.
CP3 says “it’s personal” with Scott Foster and it involves Chris Paul’s son.— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) November 23, 2023
CP3 also reveals he had a private meeting with his dad, Scott, Doc Rivers, and Bob Delaney about it during his tenure with the Clippers. pic.twitter.com/acNy4h4Muv
While Foster is one of the league’s top choices for big games like the NBA Finals, he seems to bring controversy with him. There’s a sense among fans, however unjustified, that Foster does the bidding of the NBA, much as Dick Bavetta allegedly did in his era.
Look, Chris Paul complains all the time. He can be very annoying as an opponent and even as a teammate. But there is no reason that we should know this much about his beef with a particular referee. Silver isn’t wrong to ask both men to show professionalism, but Chris Paul is a future Hall of Famer. Scott Foster is just a ref.
No one is buying a ticket to see Scott Foster. No one is collecting Scott Foster trading cards. No one wants to hear about referees!
Every moment spent watching and listening to referees makes the experience of watching an NBA game worse. Whether they’re huddling around a monitor for an endless replay review or ejecting a superstar for the crime of celebrating a block and coast-to-coast dunk, the prominence of officials is a big negative for the league.
Even when referees are apologizing, it’s cringe-worthy.
Like everyone else, referees make mistakes. We made one at the end of last night’s game and that is gut-wrenching for us. This play will weigh heavily and cause sleepless nights as we strive to be the best referees we can be.https://t.co/WyN8QVuTOl— NBA Referees (@OfficialNBARefs) January 29, 2023
Is Scott Foster the worst among them? Yes. Sure, he was good friends with disgraced referee Tim Donaghy, who called him 134 times during his run of betting on NBA games. Sure, he’s continuing a petty feud with an NBA player because he complained about him to the NBA.
But the worst thing Scott Foster did was pretending he didn’t know Jack Harlow was so he could star in a truly, truly embarrassing video.
Chris Paul may have made some mistakes in how he’s responded to Scott Foster, but at least he’s not a giantic dork.