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Rockets’ Chris Paul, James Harden critical of referee Scott Foster

Chris Paul, James Harden, Scott Foster

The Houston Rockets blew a 19-point lead against the Los Angeles Lakers in their first game back after the All-Star break, but the backcourt duo of Chris Paul and James Harden had some beef to cook with lead official Scott Foster.

The backcourt tandem cited a lack of willingness to engage with players after a call, something that has enraged them after the league proposed better dialogue between players and officials:

“I don’t know what else to do,” said Paul, according to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. “I’ve met with the league with him before. I don’t know what else to do.”

This has only led Harden, who fouled out with 1:24 left in regulation after being called for four offensive fouls, to think this is actually a personal vendetta:

“For sure it’s personal, for sure,” said Harden, noting Foster shouldn’t officiate Rockets games anymore.

Harden went as far as to call Foster “rude” and “arrogant,” words sure to be slapped with a hefty fine from the league office after a blatant criticism of the game officials:

“Scott Foster, man. I never really talk about officiating or anything like that, but just rude and arrogant,” said Harden, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “I mean, you aren’t able to talk to him throughout the course of the game, and it’s like, how do you build that relationship with officials? And it’s not even that call [on the sixth foul]. It’s just who he is on that floor.

“It’s pretty frustrating. And I’m probably going to get hit [with a fine], but honestly, I don’t really say anything. I’m a pretty quiet guy, to myself, but it’s one of those things where you can’t voice your opinion. You can’t have a conversation with someone that’s officiating the game. You’re getting a tech. It’s pretty sad.”

Foster has been a target of criticism for years, and Harden’s claim of feeling targeted isn’t unique to just him, as many players ranging from Draymond Green to John Wall have spoken of his lack of communication and tepid nature.