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Toronto Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet went scorched earth on NBA official Ben Taylor after a loss to the Clippers on Wednesday night. A fine is imminent after his comments.
While NBA players often criticize officiating, it is rather uncommon for a player to single out one specific referee, especially by name. VanVleet did not hold back and is prepared for the financial repercussions.
I don’t mind, I’ll take a fine, I don’t really care. I thought Ben Taylor was f—king terrible tonight […] On most nights, you know out of the three [officials], there’s one or two that just f—k the game up. It’s been like that a couple of games in a row.— Fred VanVleet
The 29-year-old’s comments came after his team was called for 23 fouls in an eight-point loss. Los Angeles was called for 18 fouls, in comparison.
However, where the Raptors had just 14 free throw attempts, the Clippers had 31. VanVleet was also called for a technical foul, by Taylor, in the third quarter.
It was Fred VanVleet’s eighth technical foul of the year.
His frustration stemmed from how the frequent foul calls created a choppy game.
[Losing on Monday at] Denver was tough, obviously. You come out tonight, competing pretty hard, and I get a bulls*t tech that changes the whole dynamic of the game, changed the whole flow of the game.— Fred VanVleet
VanVleet’s comments were particularly targeted at Taylor. Overall, he does not have issue with NBA officials. In his eyes, there are just a few bad eggs.
Most of the refs are trying hard. I like a lot of the refs, they’re trying hard, they’re pretty fair and communicate well. And then you got the other ones who just want to be dicks and just kind of f—k the game up. And no one’s coming to see that sh*t. They come to see the players.— Fred VanVleet
VanVleet has been called for eight technical fouls in his career. Three of them were called by Taylor.
At this point, he thinks that it’s a personal vendetta. He’s had enough, and is willing to take the fine for speaking out.
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What was the spread on this game? What is Ben Taylor’s history in the gambling world?