‘I’ll take a fine’: VanVleet blasts official after loss


LOS ANGELES — Toronto Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet blasted referee Ben Taylor for his officiating during the Raptors’ 108-100 loss to the LA Clippers on Wednesday night at Crypto.com Arena.

VanVleet didn’t hold back in his postgame news conference and is likely to receive a hefty fine from the NBA.

“I don’t mind, I’ll take a fine, I don’t really care,” VanVleet said. “I thought Ben Taylor was f—ing terrible tonight. I think that on most nights, you know out of the three [officials], there’s one or two that just f— the game up. It’s been like that a couple of games in a row.

“[Losing on Monday at] Denver was tough, obviously. You come out tonight, competing pretty hard, and I get a bulls— tech that changes the whole dynamic of the game, changed the whole flow of the game.

“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 d—s and just kind of f— the game up. And no one’s coming to see that s—. They come to see the players.”

The Raptors were called for 23 fouls to the Clippers’ 18, but L.A. had 31 free throw attempts compared with 14 for Toronto. VanVleet was whistled for a technical foul by Taylor with 7:02 remaining in the third quarter. The Clippers were up seven at the time.

While Toronto got to within 70-68 later in the quarter, the Clippers pushed the lead back to 12 shortly before the start the fourth.

The third-quarter technical was VanVleet’s eighth of the season.

The Raptors have had two straight games with second-half technical fouls. During their 118-113 loss at Denver on Monday, official Scott Foster called Scottie Barnes for a technical foul before ejecting him with 28 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. The Nuggets were leading by one at the time.

Foster said in the postgame pool report that Barnes was ejected on one technical because “he used verbiage that which directly questioned the integrity of the crew.”

Three of VanVleet’s eight technicals have come from Taylor, with one other coming from another official in a game Taylor was working. VanVleet said that “at a certain point as a player, you feel it’s personal and it’s never a good place to be.”

He was asked if anything he said Wednesday night warranted a tech.

“There’s been certain times this year where I feel our team is getting consumed with the way the whistle is going,” VanVleet said. “Especially after the night we just had in Denver, the way that finished, so there were a couple calls earlier that we all disagreed with. And if I say to my team, ‘Come on, guys, let’s keep playing [through] the bull—-‘ and that warrants a tech, I think that’s a little bit crazy. Like what are we doing? Know what I mean?

“And there’s a fine line obviously, I understand that. But I think the jurisdiction and the power trip that we’ve been on this year with some of our officials in this league is getting out of hand and I’ll take my fine for speaking on it, but it’s f—ing ridiculous.”


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