After the final buzzer of game one between the Houston Rockets & the Golden State Warriors, every headline is centered around officiating. The Rockets complained about the officiating in the post game press conference.
Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni shared with the press that the official admitted at halftime the missed foul calls three point shots.
” They just came at halftime and said they missed them. They missed four of them. That’s 12 foul shots.”
After Game 1 loss to Warriors, Rockets' Mike D'Antoni weighs in on the officials not calling fouls on three-point shots: "They just came at halftime and said they missed them. They missed four of them. That's 12 foul shots." pic.twitter.com/IA6lqeuvcv
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) April 28, 2019
ESPN’s Tim MacMahon asked Harden did felt the Warriors gameplay was to test the limits until the refs decided to call the closeout fouls on him.
Harden replied, “I just want a fair chance, man. Just call the game the way it’s supposed to be called and we’ll live with the results.”
He would continue:
I just want a fair chance, man. Especially because we all know what happened a few years back with Kawhi – like that can change an entire series. Just call the game the way it’s supposed to be called, and we’ll live with the results. It’s plain and simple.
"I just want a fair chance, man. Just call the game the way it’s supposed to be called and we’ll live with the results.”
James Harden voiced his opinion about the officiating after Game 1. pic.twitter.com/9GmtB2EjPp
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 28, 2019
Harden was referring to the way Kawhi was injured in the playoff a couple of years ago when Zaza Pachulia didn’t give Leonard enough space to land correctly. The Spurs would go on to lose that series, and Leonard would miss the following season as well.
Earlier today, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst tweeted out:
“Veteran official Scott Foster has been assigned to Warriors-Rockets tonight. Chris Paul, James Harden & Rockets have a long-running feud with Foster. He hasn’t worked a Rockets game since February when Harden was fined for criticizing him after fouling out of a game in LA.”
Veteran official Scott Foster has been assigned to Warriors-Rockets tonight.
Chris Paul, James Harden & Rockets have a long-running feud with Foster. He hasn’t worked a Rockets game since February, when Harden was fined for criticizing him after fouling out of a game in LA.
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) April 30, 2019
The NBA is not really trying to stick it to the Rockets, as Windhorst later would point out. The NBA assigns officials to the first four games of the series, meaning that this was already put in place before the drama in game one.
Earlier this season after the Rockets loss to the Los Angeles Lakers 111-106 in Los Angeles, Harden had some not so nice words to say about Foster.
“Scott Foster, man. I never really talk about officiating or anything like that, but just rude and arrogant,” he said. “I mean, you aren’t able to talk to him throughout the course of the game, and it’s like, how do you build that relationship with officials? And it’s not even that call [on the sixth foul]. It’s just who he is on that floor.”
The league would later fine Harden $25,000 for his comments.
His teammate Chris Paul has also had an issue with Foster in the past.
“Yeah, Scott Foster at his finest,” Paul said sarcastically after Foster assessed him a technical foul during a Rockets-Blazers game in January 2018. “You know what I mean? He just never fails.
“Some of them, you can [communicate] with. You’ve just gotta figure out who you can and you can’t. I got a tech tonight. I’m over there with [referee Courtney Kirkland] saying, ‘That’s Scott, that’s Scott,’ and I got a tech. That’s history there. He the man. That’s who they pay to see.”
We will have to see how tonight’s game plays out at Oracle Arena.