Scott Foster will be manning the whistle on Friday night for Boston-Toronto, and that is certain to mean controversy.Celtics Get NBA’s ‘Most Hated’ Referee for Game 7 vs. Raptors — Heavy.com
There may not be very many things that NBA fans of different teams can agree on, but one thing that has crystallized during the NBA restart in Orlando, especially in the playoffs, has been the general disdain for referee Scott Foster.
Actually, that goes back well before the advent of the bubble, but since this is the epicenter of the NBA at this point, Foster makes for an ideal bubble villain. And Celtics fans nationally are groaning over the fact that Foster will be on the floor as one of the referees for Friday’s Eastern Conference semifinal Game 7 against the Raptors.
FWIW, I don’t think Scott Foster favors Boston nor Toronto. What I do think is that his presence in a Game 7 gives the losing side a built-in gripe. He’s going to make some sort of controversial call at some point, and probably more than one.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) September 11, 2020
Scott Foster in a Celtics game 7? Might as well bet your life savings on the Raptors because you know Foster did too
— Barrett Fitzgerald (@barrettfitz) September 11, 2020
Last week, Foster was on the floor for the Thunder-Rockets Game 7, which featured Chris Paul—a player Foster appears to have a personal beef with going back years. Foster made the unusual step in that game of whistling Paul for a delay of game—he was tying his shoe—that gave the Rockets a free throw. Paul also claimed that Foster reminded him before the game that he reffed the Game 7 in 2008, when Paul’s Hornets lost to the Spurs.
“That s*** don’t make no sense,” Paul said. “But I don’t know. That’s crazy. He just – I don’t know. We could’ve won the game, but that situation – the league knows. Yeah. They’re going to fine me. I said his name. Yeah. We already know the history.”
Thunder guard Chris Paul says referee Scott Foster made a point to tell him before the Game 7 loss to the Thunder tonight that he also reffed his Game 7 loss to the Spurs in 2008 when CP was with the Hornets.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) September 3, 2020
Scott Foster’s History With Celtics–& Raptors–Has Been Controversy-Free
It’s not that Foster has a long negative history against either the Celtics or the Raptors. In fact, when the Raptors have had games with Foster and crewmate Zach Zarba, they were 10-0 in the regular season and 2-1 in the playoffs. The Celtics under the same circumstances were 4-2 in the regular season and 3-0 in the playoffs, according to Raptors beat writer Kevin Rashidi.
Officials for Raptors-Celtics Game 7 are Scott Foster, Zach Zarba, and David Guthrie. Raptors were a combined 10-0 during the season with Foster and Zarba, 2-1 in playoffs. Celtics 4-2 during season, 3-0 in playoffs.
— Kevin Rashidi (@KevinRashidi) September 11, 2020
Point is, Foster has gained a reputation as the most hated referee in the NBA because of his quick trigger with technical fouls and his tendency to make the final minutes of important games more about the referees than the players on the floor.
Four years ago, the Los Angeles Times surveyed NBA players and coaches for their thoughts on the best and worst referees in the game. Foster was voted the worst by a longshot—he had 24 votes, and the second-worst on the list (Lauren Holtkamp) had 14.
As one anonymous player told the Times, “You can’t talk to him. He’s never wrong. I like refs where they say, ‘You know what, I made a mistake. I saw it at halftime. You were right.’ But Scott Foster thinks he never makes a mistake.”
And you’ll forgive Celtics fans for not exactly having the warm-and-fuzzies when it comes to referees these days. The NBA’s Last 2-Minute Report on the Game 6 loss to the Raptors revealed that those referees missed two calls, both against Boston. That included Kemba Walker’s drive to the rim with 3.5 seconds left in regulation, a play that saw Walker get hammered without getting a foul call.
If Walker got the foul call, the Celtics likely would have won.
The NBA’s Last 2 Minute Report says two crucial calls were missed in last night’s 2OT thriller between the Celtics and Raptors, both against Boston.
The first missed call was that OG Anunoby fouled Kemba Walker on the arm on this potential game-winning shot attempt. pic.twitter.com/xUNFOA6QtH
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) September 10, 2020