By Alice Barbosa, sportswriter, and Árbitros NBA CEO
Scott Foster and Chris Paul were again together on the court in yesterday’s game (19) between the Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Pelicans for the 2022 NBA playoffs – and for the 14th time, the match had a negative result for CP3.
The Arizona team, which clinched first place in the Western Conference during the regular season, lost to the Pels 125-114 in a game where Brandon Ingram scored 37 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists.
In addition to Foster, a veteran who has 28 seasons in league with more than 213 playoff games on his resume, completed the refereeing trio Tony Brothers and Pat Fraher.
Early indications of the stormy relationship between the player and Foster date back to the 2007/2008 season, when Paul was part of the New Orleans Hornets. In the second round of the playoffs, the team faced the previous period champion, the San Antonio Spurs. And there was Scott Foster, in a game in which Chris Paul had to leave the court for reaching the foul limit.
CP3 said in 2020 that in Game 7 between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder, which had the loss of OKC, Foster was scheduled to be cast and made a point of reminding the player that in the seventh game of 2008, against Gregg Popovich’s command, Paul had also lost the battle.
During the post-game press conference, Paul was emphatic in expressing his displeasure with Foster: “that s**t don’t make no sense… that’s crazy, he’s just… that situation, the league knows, they gonna fine me, we all know. I said his name; you all know the history.”
In 2018, in a Rockets game during the regular period, Paul received a technical foul and ironically characterized the act as “Scott Foster at his finest.”
The following season, his then-Texan franchise colleague, James Harden, declared, after a loss (and Foster was refereeing it), that the NBA should no longer allow the whistle professional to work in the league. At the time, CP3 threw its hands up, expressing its displeasure with Scott.
Another controversial encounter between the two took place in Game 6 of last year’s finals between the Suns and Milwaukee Bucks. But, again, the result is known – Giannis Antetokounmpo’s team won the champion title.
But this is not the former NBA Players Association (NBPA) president’s only tense relationship with the refs.
In 2015, during Lauren Holtkamp’s first year in the league, he declared at the press conference after the end of the game that the NBA job “might not be for her.” The player received a technical foul given by the referee in the third quarter of a game between the Los Angeles Clippers, at the time Paul’s home, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Check out the scene below:
The NBA Referees Association (NBRA) issued a message on social media supporting Lauren and confirming that the foul given was entirely justifiable. Additionally, the league fined Chris Paul $25,000 for comments about the situation.
The Phoenix Suns are considered a strong contender for this season’s title – just like last year. If the group advance to the second round of the playoffs, basketball fans are likely to see another meeting between Chris Paul and Scott Foster.