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Former NBA referee calls Chris Paul 'one of the biggest a**holes I ever dealt with' - NBC Sports

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2024 SoFi Play-In Tournament - Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings

SACRAMENTO, CA - APRIL 16: Chris Paul #3 of the Golden State Warriors looks on from the bench during the game against the Sacramento Kings during the 2024 Play-In Tournament on April 16, 2024 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2024 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

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One thing that occurs every year with the NBA playoffs is a rise in fan complaints about officiating (this year those voices echo growing complaints from players and coaches). That ire often gets focused on a couple of specific referees, with Scott Foster at the top of the list.

A few players have running issues with Foster, including Chris Paul, who has been very public about it. In an article at The Athletic on Foster, Jason Quick interviews former NBA referee Bill Spooner, who worked 32 NBA seasons. He stuck up for Foster and took a shot at CP3.

“I’m going to tell you, and I know you are recording me, but I get asked all the time: ‘Who are some of the tough guys, some of the bad guys?’ And when I tell them that Chris Paul, in my 32 years in the league, was one of the biggest a**holes I ever dealt with, they say, ‘Not Rasheed Wallace … or da-da-da?’ Nope. Nothing like (Paul),” Spooner said. “And they are like, ‘Oh, he seems like such a nice guy.’ And I say, ‘Yeah, he’s a great image cultivator.’”

Two things can be true.

Foster has an ego and things can get personal on the court, leading to a quick trigger with some players. Also, Chris Paul is ultra-competitive and can be an a**hole — his teammate last season, Draymond Green, said as much before they were both on the Warriors. It’s not really shocking that CP3 and Foster clash.

What is not going to change is Foster getting big game assignments — he remains one of the league’s top-rated officials when they go back through games and grade referees. The highest-rated officials call the biggest games.

Chris Paul’s personality isn’t going to change, either.

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