It is no secret that Chris Paul dislikes NBA official Scott Foster. These feelings seem to be mutual from Foster's side of things as well. Every time Foster is the referee in a game Paul is playing, something occurs between the two, usually resulting in the future Hall of Fame point guard either being ejected or hit with a technical foul. Just a few weeks ago, this was the case when the Golden State Warriors took on the Phoenix Suns, a game in which Foster ejected Paul for complaining about calls that were being made.
This feud between the star point guard and the long-time official has gone on way too long without the NBA stepping in, which is why commissioner Adam Silver recently gave a stern viewpoint on the matter.
“You have there two veterans who are the best at what they do,” Silver recently stated on SiriusXM NBA Radio. “Scott is one of the most respected and highest rated NBA officials, which is why he referees in our Finals games. Of course Chris, his track record speaks for itself. The way you handle that, at least the way we've tried to handle that, is talk to both of them and say that the expectation is that you are going to be professional and deal privately with the two of them. Just say, ‘Guys, whatever the bad blood is between you two, you don’t have to be friends, but you have to both go out and do your jobs.' That's my expectation moving forward.”
Even though Silver seems to think that Paul and Foster can handle things in a mature and professional way, this may not be the case moving forward. The history these two share is very deep, and Paul made it very clear after his recent ejection from Foster that his problems with the official are not just from what has occurred on the court.
“It's personal. We had a situation some years ago and it's personal,” Paul stated after being ejected by Foster against the Suns on November 23. “The league knows, everybody knows, and it's been a meeting and all that. It's a situation with my son and so, yeah. I'm OK with a ref talking, saying whatever, just don't use a tech to get your point across. I gotta do a better job making sure I stay on the floor for my teammates. But, yeah, that's that… It's been a thing for a while. I ain't saying nothing to get fined. It is what it is at this point.”
This rivalry between Paul and Foster has gone on way too long, as these two have seemed to have an issue with one another over the last decade. It is unknown what conversations the NBA has had with Foster in private, but Silver's comments regarding the matter are very straight forward. The league does not want this to be an issue moving forward, so it should be very interesting to see what happens the next time Foster is officiating a game Paul is playing in.