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Rockets – Warriors Game 7 MVP Was a Referee?!?

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By Ryan Paul –

(Editor’s Note: Before you ask, the author is not related to Chris Paul nor is he a Houston Rockets or Golden State Warriors Fan. Cheers!)

Rarely do sports fans get to say to themselves, “Did we really just witness that?” but last night was one of those nights…and not in a good way.

What should’ve been a glorious, goosebump-enducing, water cooler talking, did you see that, all-time classic NBA Conference Finals game 7 matchup, was marred last night by the grotesque performance of a referee that is widely derided as the worst in the league by fans, columnists, players and coaches alike: Scott Foster.

Just before Foster decided to become the MVP of the Golden State Warriors’ 2017-2018 season, this game had two logical conclusions: 1) It was either going to be a game that would’ve gone all the way down to the wire and could’ve gone either way or 2) It was going to result in the home team Houston Rockets blowing out the defending champion Golden State Warriors and going to their first NBA Finals since 1995. Neither thing happened after Scott Foster’s 3rd quarter performance.

The Golden State victory will now go down in history as a comfortable win for the defending NBA champion Warriors and a gut-wrenching loss for the Houston Rockets, a loss that could ostensibly set the franchise back decades.

It also might be remembered as a game that could set back the popularity and public’s trust of the NBA, as well as the closest Chris Paul ever came to playing in the NBA Finals. Regardless of what people think of Chris Paul or the Houston Rockets, this is not the way this series should’ve ended.

And they aren’t the only franchise feeling aggrieved by Scott Foster right now: This article by CBS Boston affiliate WBZ is nausea-inducing against the backdrop of last night’s game for Celtics fans and many NBA fans, in general. Again, in that game, it only took Foster one quarter to work his magic and derail a series underdog team.

And before the name callers throw around the name conspiracy theorist, etc. and the chants of let them play start to rain down from Golden State fans, let’s be clear: There is a massive difference between swallowing your whistle and letting the players decide things on the floor and not calling a fair game! You can’t hamstring any team like this against the defending champs (or Cleveland) and expect the game to go any other way.

What should never be forgotten about this traveshamockery is that Houston was bombing on Golden State when Scott Foster sprung into action. The game swung from Houston dropping haymakers and Golden State being unable to find their groove, to Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, the two best players in the league, feeding off the confidence and the fact that Scott Foster is the best Harden stopper in the world.

Check out this Youtube clip of the non-foul calls and the unforgivable waiving off of a potential four point play for Houston and then decide for yourself (If you’re at work and/or missed this game, be sure to watch at home, with volume, and listen to the commentators. It definitely makes it clear that they saw up close what we all saw on tv).

Scott Foster being the worst ref in the league is not breaking news. In 2016, the LA TIMES called Foster the NBA’s worst referee, according to players and coaches polled. And the vote was not close. Foster got 24 votes, leading comfortably with the next vote-getter being a robust 10 votes behind.

A seemingly unbiased Jeremy Lin didn’t like what he was seeing either, noting on Twitter what most fans were thinking when he said, “As objectively as I can be, the Warriors are probably still the better team but the refs are definitely helping them…”

If you’re saying, “Okay, he’s the worst referee in the league, hands down, what does that have to do with the Houston Rockets?” ,  well done and here’s the answer: Chris Paul and Foster have a thing going on!

Here’s the Baltimore Sun, in 2016, piggy backing on the LA Times by calling Foster the NBA’s worst and most controversial referee in the league. If it doesn’t seem relevant and thus you haven’t clicked on the link yet, please do and take note of the awesome and timely pic of him and Chris Paul after he T’d up Paul in the 2016 NBA Western Conference quarterfinals. Good Stuff.

Here’s another article, in January 2018, with Chris Paul calling Foster out by name. Maybe not the smartest thing in the world to do, but the facts remain that Paul wasn’t even talking to Foster when he was hit with a technical foul. AGAIN, HE WASN’T EVEN TALKING TO FOSTER WHEN HE GOT T’D UP! He was talking to another ref about Foster not being a guy you can talk to, likely hoping that a colleague could talk to him and smooth things out, for the sake of the league, if nothing else, and Paul got nailed. Most NBA fans remember this incident specifically.

The other thing to note is Chris Paul didn’t even play in game 7! It would seem that if Foster and Paul indeed don’t like each other, and you agree that Foster was up to some shenanigans in that game, then it’s fair to say that Foster allowed his dislike for an individual player to manifest into unfair treatment for a specific team. And that is truly a shame. Everyone that cares about the NBA loses in that scenario.

Details aside, the man is clearly not good at his job (the word sucks comes to mind). He calls the legitimacy of contests into question, he makes the game borderline unwatchable and he obviously has players and coaches in the league all singing the same chorus calling for his head, to the point where it seems to most fans and viewers that he likely has a “list” of players and teams he doesn’t like.

All of this begs the question: Why was Scott Foster refereeing that game last night? This question will never be answered but it definitely should be and it has one thing in common with another question, “who’s the best 2018 NBA team”. It is yet another question that won’t be answered solely by the players on the court.

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