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Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul has aired his frustration with the performance of rookie female referee Lauren Holtkamp during the Cleveland Cavaliers game on Thursday night.
Although there were various reasons for the Clippers’ heavy loss to the Cavs, Paul was left angered by the treatment he received from Holtkamp which included a technical foul in the third quarter.
The Clippers were T’d up five times in total with forward Matt Barnes being ejected from the game, and Paul was unable to keep quiet after the game.
“I think we have to show better composure, but at the same time some of [the technical fouls] were ridiculous,” Paul said.
“The tech that I get right there was ridiculous. I don’t care what nobody says, I don’t care what she says; that’s terrible. There’s no way that can be a tech. We try to get the ball out fast every time down the court, and when we did that, she said, ‘Uh-uh.’ I said, ‘Why, uh-uh?’ And she gave me a tech.
“That’s ridiculous. If that’s the case, this might not be for her.”
Although Paul is the head of the National Basketball Players Association, his comments will unlikely go down well as it is a very sensitive topic in many industries and not just sports.
Paul insisted that his displeasure had nothing to do with Holtkamp’s gender, and it was purely based on her performance as an official and the calls that she made on the court on Thursday.
Holtkamp spent six years working in the NBA D-League prior to working for the NBA, while she has also refereed in WNBA, college and FIBA ranks.
Nevertheless, her performance on Thursday did not please the Clippers at all, with Barnes and DeAndre Jordan also airing their grievances after the game.
Jordan was given a technical foul in the third quarter after screaming for a foul following a dunk.
“I guess she thought I was talking to her,” Jordan said. “We talked about it. She said that she thought I was talking to her. She made a call and I talked to the other refs and they disagreed with it. Hopefully it will be rescinded. We’ll see.”
Meanwhile, Barnes was ejected after arguing a call after picking his first technical for defending Kevin Love after the whistle earlier in the quarter.
“The first one I’m guarding someone who outweighs me by 40 pounds and he makes a spin move and I slap down on the ball so he doesn’t get an and-1 and he held my arm and I tried to pull my arm back and I get a T,” Barnes said.
“The second one when they called Jamal [Crawford] for running into LeBron [James]. I said, ‘Just don’t give them the game,’ and they kicked me out.”