VanVleet attempted to take a deep breath before speaking to the press, but was unable to conceal his irritation with the referee, Ben Taylor and his team. After the Raptors’ loss to the Clippers on Wednesday night, the guard was very vocal in his criticism of Taylor, not only for receiving a technical foul, but also for the unequal number of fouls and free throws. This resulted in the NBA giving him a fine of $30,000 for his public remarks about the officiating.
Fred VanVleet admitted that he was not pleased with Ben Taylor‘s performance and that he would accept the fine he received, not caring much about it. He stated that more often than not, there is one or two players who manage to disrupt the game during any given match, as was the case in the match against Denver. He added that the tech he got ruined the ‘flow of the game’ and changed its dynamic.
VanVleet, in his sixth year with the NBA, was handed his eighth technical foul of the season with 7:02 remaining in the third quarter. Paul George made a free throw to put the Clippers in the lead, 65-57.
He expressed that he was only trying to urge his team to play through what he considered to be unfair rulings, although his language was not appropriate.
He also added that there was a fine line to what he could say, yet he didn’t believe Taylor had given him enough allowance. Toronto was called for 23 fouls, compared to Los Angeles’ 18, however, the Clippers had 24 free throw attempts to the Raptors’ 14.
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Nick Nurse, the Raptors coach, indicated that he felt they weren’t receiving the appropriate value for the fouls they were committing, which he considered to be mostly contact. He went on to say that the team was not able to adjust to the style of play because they were “back in the same situation.” Fred VanVleet and Toronto were already feeling disgruntled about the referees before the Wednesday game.
On Monday, the Nuggets won 118-113, with the Raptors trailing by one, when Scottie Barnes was ejected by official Scott Foster with just 28.3 seconds remaining after Toronto’s Jakob Poeltl was called for a foul. Denver was then able to make three free throws, enabling them to secure the victory.
Fred VanVleet has received eight technical fouls, three of which have been called by Taylor, a referee in his 10th season with the NBA, and one more by another referee on a game that Taylor was officiating.
VanVleet stated that at a certain point, the technical fouls become personal, making it more difficult to overcome the game’s outcome. His current fine for the technical is $3,000, and he will be facing a larger penalty for his comments about the officiating.
Fred VanVleet expressed his opinion that the authority and control that has been exerted by NBA officials this season has gone too far. He stated that he will not hesitate to accept any penalty he may incur for speaking out on it. He noted that most of the referees are doing their best and are generally fair, yet there are a few who are trying to ruin the game.
He believes that this is taking away from what makes the NBA so special and has been a source of disappointment this season.
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