A heated feud in the NBA isn't even between players. Whether it's with the Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Phoenix Suns, or Golden State Warriors, Scott Foster will always get into it with Chris Paul. These two have gone on to exchange words and then some when the official gets assigned to the player. However, former referee Bill Spooner posits that there could be something more to this beef than meets the eye.

Bill Spooner served as one of the top referees of the NBA for 32 years. He saw the rise of Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls, got to officiate a large chunk of LeBron James' career, observed the growth of the San Antonio Spurs with Gregg Popovich, and got to watch the peak of the Warriors dynasty. This veteran just got to retire in 2020. So, everything that he has been through is still fresh in his memories.

One thing that he will never forget during his time in the NBA is the bad blood between Chris Paul and Scott Foster. The latter name always had a tarnished image among individuals close to the league. After all, he was very close with Tim Donaghy. But, his beef with the Warriors guard is different. Spooner outlines why this is unique, via Jason Quick of The Athletic.

“I’m going to tell you, and I know you are recording me, but I get asked all the time: ‘Who are some of the tough guys, some of the bad guys?’ And when I tell them that Chris Paul, in my 32 years in the league, was one of the biggest a-holes I ever dealt with, they say, ‘Not Rasheed Wallace … or da-da-da?’ Nope. Nothing like Paul. And they are like, ‘Oh, he seems like such a nice guy.’ And I say, ‘Yeah, he’s a great image cultivator,” he said.

In addition, he posits that Chris Paul has been slowly campaigning against Foster.

The beef between the Warriors guard & veteran NBA referee

Apr 16, 2024; Sacramento, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Chris Paul (3) dribbles the ball next to Sacramento Kings guard Davion Mitchell (15) in the second quarter during a play-in game of the 2024 NBA playoffs at the Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
© Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Paul's biggest weapon against Foster has always been his call-outs. The NBA referee would then retaliate by seemingly making skewed calls against the Warriors guard. A new chapter was added to it when Paul was assessed an ejection during their battle with the Suns. Paul had been given two technical fouls all before the third quarter and this did not sit right with him.

He would then expose the root cause of their long-standing beef.

“It's personal. We had a situation some years ago, and it's personal. 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,” the Warriors guard said.

Some avid spectators can only speculate what this is all about. But, the relationship does not look very repairable at any angle at all.