Raptors’ VanVleet drops expletive-filled rant against officials after loss to Clippers

The Toronto Raptors‘ rift with NBA officiating continued following their loss to the Los Angeles Clippers Thursday, with Fred VanVleet not holding back on his thoughts on calls made against him.

In the third quarter, VanVleet was handed a technical foul and in his post-game press conference, the veteran point guard had some words about Ben Taylor — the official who assessed the technical.

“I’ll take a fine, I don’t care. I thought Ben Taylor was f—-g terrible tonight. I thought that on most nights, out of the three, there’s one or two that just f–k the game up, you know,” VanVleet said. “It’s been like that a couple of games in a row. Denver was tough obviously. We come out tonight competing pretty hard and then in the third quarter I get a bulls–t tech. Changes the whole dynamic of the game, changed the whole flow of the game.”

VanVleet finished the game with 13 points, four rebounds and nine assists as Toronto was unable to overcome a strong second and third-quarter push by the Clippers, who won 108-100.

The Clippers went to the free-throw line 31 times while the Raptors only did 14.

It was the second-straight game the Raptors have lost on their road trip as they continue their fight for positioning in the NBA play-in tournament.

VanVleet said he believes that the officials are getting too involved in the results of games, which has made it a tough time for Toronto this season. He added that that’s been especially true for him when Taylor — a veteran of 10 NBA seasons — is on the court.

“Most of the refs try hard, they’re pretty fair to communicate well, and then you got the other ones who just want to be dicks and just kind of f–s the game up. Nobody’s coming to see that s–t, they come and see the players and I think we’re losing a little bit of the fabric of what the NBA is and was and it’s been disappointing this season.

“You can look up most of my techs this year have been with Ben Taylor officiating. So, at a certain point as a player, you feel it’s personal and it’s never a good place to be. That’s not why we lost tonight we got outplayed, but it definitely makes it tougher to overcome.”

VanVleet has been given a team-high eight technical fouls this season and five have come in games in which Taylor was an official, according to Sportsnet Stats. In the previous two seasons combined, VanVleet only had nine technicals called against him but none occurred in games in which Taylor was a member of the officiating crew.

The comments come after VanVleet brought up his frustrations with the officiating at the end of the Raptors’ game against the Nuggets where Scottie Barnes was handed a questionable technical foul.

“All the way down to a one-point game under a minute and the game just kind of went to s–t a little bit,” VanVleet told reporters on Monday. “It’s tough to see a great game like that get ruined at the end, but we’ve got to find ways to overcome that.”


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