night was a bad one for the Los Angeles Clippers. They lost 105-94 to LeBron James and the surging Cleveland Cavaliers — winners of 12 straight — but the final score was a lot closer than most of the game. L.A. was down by more than thirty for parts of the second half.
On top of the bad loss was a worse media gaffe by their point guard and leader, Chris Paul. Paul took to criticizing rookie female referee Lauren Holtkamp after the game. He wasn’t too pleased with a technical foul call in the third quarter.
"I think we have to show better composure, but at the same time some of [the technical fouls] were ridiculous," Paul told reporters. "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.”
Poor choice of words, CP3. While criticizing a rookie referee is hardly taboo, and while the “her” in “this might not be for her” is technically correct, many are going to read this as sexist.
Personally? Paul doesn’t strike me as the politically incorrect type; just a guy who got beat badly by one of his close friends — LeBron — on national TV, and was thus liable to say all kinds of dumb nonsense in his post-game frustration. He was throwing a bit of a hissyfit at the wrong time. That’s the peril of having a job where they throw microphones into your face right after you take a shower.
In any event, it’s a bad look for Paul, his team, and for the league, and it should surprise no one when he inevitably gets fined for his words.
— John Wilmes