It’s safe to say not everyone in the NBA agrees with James Harden’s scathing critique of longtime referee Scott Foster. Despite Steve Kerr suggesting otherwise, though, it’s pretty clear he’s not exactly thrilled with the state of the league’s officiating crew.
Asked for his thoughts on the comments about Foster’s impartiality recently made by Harden and Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul, the Golden State Warriors coach offered up some sarcasm rather than honest opinion on the matter.
Kerr on Harden calling out Foster: "I can't relate. I'm perfect with the officials." He cited his to do with Ken Mauer last week and said typically officials move on, no hard feelings.
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) February 23, 2019
Steve Kerr, of course, was ejected from his team’s pre-All-Star loss to the Portland Trail Blazers for verbally berating veteran referee Ken Mauer.
The friction between Houston’s superstar backcourt and Foster nearly boiled over entirely late in the fourth quarter of the Rockets’ loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday. Harden fouled out in crunch time after being called for a pair of charges in the span of less than a minute. Moments later, Paul and coach Mike D’Antoni exchanged tense words with Foster, prompting a technical foul on the future Hall-of-Fame floor general.
After the game, Harden and Paul hardly held back while voicing their concerns over Foster’s perceived bias against Houston.
“Scott Foster, man. I never really talk about officiating or anything like that, but just rude and arrogant,” the reigning MVP said, per 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?”
Paul was less direct, but equally incredulous.
“I don’t know what else to do, know what I mean?” he said. “I met with the league with him before and all this stuff. I don’t know what else to do.”
Harden, who is out on Saturday against the Golden State Warriors with a cervical strain, was fined $25,000 by the league office for publicly criticizing officiating.