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Houston Rockets: James Harden sounds off on referee Scott Foster

By Tevin Williams
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets reacts in front of Mike D'Antoni (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets reacts in front of Mike D'Antoni (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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After Thursday’s loss against the Lakers, Rockets’ guard James Harden expressed his concerns about referee Scott Foster and suggests he has a dislike of the Rockets organization.

Thursday’s loss against the Lakers is a game the Rockets need to quickly put behind them.

Clint Capela returned and the team played well, leading by as many as 19 points, but LeBron James led the Lakers back in the fourth quarter and Los Angeles won 111-106.

Going into the game, the main story surrounded Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo because of their fight back in October. Paul and Rondo have both moved on from the incident and the Rockets’ stars were more focused on referee Scott Foster after the game.

After the game, James Harden expressed frustration with not only Foster’s play calling, but also his communication with players on the floor, or lack thereof. Harden even told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon that Foster may have something personal against Houston and shouldn’t be allowed to officiate their games moving forward.

“It’s lingering, and it’s something that has to be looked at for sure. For sure, it’s personal. For sure. I don’t think he should be able to even officiate our games anymore, honestly.”

James Harden said a fine will likely come his way for publicly criticizing the officials, but obviously voicing his opinion on what could be a serious issue is more important than the money lost.

“It’s pretty frustrating. And I’m probably going to get hit [with a fine], but honestly, I don’t really say anything. I’m a pretty quiet guy, to myself, but it’s one of those things where you can’t voice your opinion. You can’t have a conversation with someone that’s officiating the game. You’re getting a tech. It’s pretty sad.”

Being a referee in the NBA is a very difficult job. There are so many calls that could go either way over the course of the game and no matter how good of a job the officiating crew does, one side is going to feel like they would have won if only a few calls went their way.

However, Scott Foster, like Joey Crawford before him, isn’t exactly a favorite around the league. He has made a lot of questionable calls over his career, especially against Houston in recent years.

On Thursday, LA made their biggest run in the fourth period. The Lakers attempted 33 free throws in the game, but Houston only attempted 15 free throws. The Rockets didn’t get an opportunity at the line in the entire fourth quarter.

Furthermore, both James Harden and Chris Paul fouled out for the first time this year, and four of Harden’s six fouls were offensive fouls. After Paul picked up his disqualifying foul, Foster handed out techs to both Paul and Mike D’Antoni.

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Finally, Chris Nouis shared on Twitter that the Rockets are 0-7 this year when Scott Foster is an official. In the 10 games the Rockets played in the 2018 playoffs at home, they lost only three games and Foster happened to be an official each time. Houston won all seven of the games when Foster wasn’t apart of the crew.

The Rockets are 0-7 this year with Scott Foster assignedIn the 2018 playoffs: 7-0 at home without Scott, 0-3 at home with him.Paul and Harden each fouled out 1st time all year. Can we have a conversation @NBAOfficial https://t.co/xKyqlknSf3

— Chris Nouis (@ChrisNouis) February 22, 2019

Back in 2018, Chris Paul criticized Foster after a game and like Harden, mentioned that it’s hard to communicate with Foster on the floor. After the loss to the Lakers, CP3 told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that he has met with the NBA about Scott Foster before.

“I don’t know what else to do. I’ve met with the league with him before. I don’t know what else to do.”

James Harden and Chris Paul seem to think Scott Foster favors Houston’s opponents when he officiates Rockets games, and the numbers absolutely back it up. After multiple complaints, this is something Adam Silver and the NBA should look into.

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