Chris Paul creates firestorm with criticism of female referee: “This might not be for her”


Above is the full post-game quote from Chris Paul — after his team was beaten soundly on national television and picked up five technical fouls in the process — that created a firestorm online.

“I think we’ve got to show better composure, but at the same time some of ‘em was ridiculous. Like the tech I got right there was ridiculous. I don’t care what nobody say, I don’t care what she say, that’s terrible. There’s no way that can be a technical. We try to get the ball out quick every time down the court and when we did that she said ‘Uh-uh (no)’ and I said ‘Why uh-uh?’ and she gave me a tech. That’s ridiculous. If that’s the case then this might not be for her.”

His use of the pronoun “her” and calling out a female referee led some on Twitter to rush in to defend Lauren Holtkamp, the female referee who handed out the technical to Paul. She is one of two female referees in the NBA this season and numerous people defended her right to be an official in the league saying Paul came off as sexist.

Of course, the combination of Twitter and small-minded people who don’t think women should be involved in men’s sports led to a backlash unleashed on Holtkamp and her defenders.

All because of the pronoun “her.”

Chris Paul is going to get fined by the league for this — not because of the pronoun but because any time a referee is criticized the player gets fined. The league protects its referees, even if the calls are wrong.

Holtkamp is a rookie promoted from the D-League to this job and rookie referees get little slack from veteran players (and coaches) as it is. They see the rookies as struggling to get used to the league, just as rookie players do. Players talk back to rookie referees faster than the veterans they trust. And the Clippers had issues with Holtkamp earlier this season (in a game against Miami).

The difference here with Paul was calling out the referee in postgame comments, and using the pronoun “she.” Even if it’s accurate, some would take offense.

From my interactions with Chris Paul, seeing him frustrated with officials in postgame comments before, I believe this is just him venting about the call, not making sexist remarks. I don’t think he meant it as an attack on all female referees, I think he just didn’t like the call against him. But it reads very poorly.

In this case it was a perfect storm of quick triggers from the officials (not just Holtkamp but the entire crew) and a frustrated Clippers squad that was getting blown out. All game the Clippers were whining to the officials as if the people with the whistles were the cause of their loss. They weren’t. The Clippers were down by more than 20 by the time the techs came flying, and that has been a symptom of the inconsistent Clippers this season — they complain on court when frustrated.

The Clippers’ style of play is predictable and that makes their margin for error smaller than many teams — if they are not at the peak of their game and executing cleanly top teams can run them out of the building. Which is what the Cavaliers did Thursday night.

Then the Clippers get frustrated and vent at the officials. And some officials have quick triggers — Holtkamp gave a technical to DeAndre Jordan when he yelled a loud swear word after a dunk. It was part of a string of technicals — Matt Barnes got one for grabbing Kevin Love’s arm at one point, something that was a foul, but not worthy of a technical. Not much later Barnes was ejected for a second technical.

Part of the story should be how the Clippers whine to officials when it’s often about their play. As Paul notes, the Clippers need to work on their composure.

But instead, the focus will be on a pronoun.

Barack Obama took Tony Parker over Chris Paul in point guard debate


Tony Parker or Chris Paul?

Those two have been key contenders in the NBA’s endless point guard debate. Paul has the better numbers, but Parker has been more successful in the playoffs.

President Barack Obama took Parker, according to an excerpt of the new book by Reggie Love – Obama’s former aide and a member of Duke’s 2001 national-championship team – published in The Wall Street Journal:

I’ll never forget the night I got an email from the future president of the United States consisting only of Tony Parker’s stat line.

I typed an email back to Barack Obama: “Those are good numbers. But it was against a weak team.” Then I added Chris Paul’s stats.

It began with that back-and-forth during the 2007 NBA playoffs. Who was going to be right? The debate went on for years. After Paul, a Los Angeles Clippers guard, won the All-Star Game MVP in 2013, Obama reluctantly conceded, though Parker’s collection of four championship rings with the San Antonio Spurs may make the president’s case for him a little better than mine for Paul.

I would have taken Paul over Parker then, and I’m sticking with that now.

But if we bring Stephen Curry into the discussion…

Clippers J.J. Redick out with back spasms, will not return “until he’s right”


The Los Angeles Clippers run six deep — when any combination of Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan are on the floor, the Clippers play like contenders. Their starting five is +16.1 per 100 possessions, swap in Crawford for Redick and it jumps to +21.3 per 100. However, get beyond that six and things go south fast.

Which is why losing Redick for a while could be trouble for Los Angeles.

Redick came out of the Clippers road loss to the Nets Monday with back spasms and he’s going to miss some time, reports Arash Markazi of ESPN.

Redick hurt his back on the final play of last Monday’s game against the Denver Nuggets and missed Wednesday’s game against the Utah Jazz with back spasms. He returned and started the Clippers’ previous two games against the New Orleans Pelicans and San Antonio Spurs before being pulled early against Brooklyn.

“It’s just spasms,” (Clippers coach Doc) Rivers said. “I think it’s from that hit [against Denver]. He probably shouldn’t have played, who knows, but we’re just going to rest him until he’s right.”

If Redick misses several weeks he could be out of the All-Star Saturday Three-Point Contest, which would be too bad because that is a stacked field and probably the most intriguing event all that weekend.

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Redick’s three-point shooting — he is hitting 43.2 percent from deep and scoring 14.4 a night — is a key to the Clippers spacing, creating lanes for CP3 or space inside for Griffin. Plus Rivers loves to run Redick off multiple screens to free him (think how he used Ray Allen in Boston at times). The Clippers’ offense is 9.2 points per 100 possessions better when he is on the floor compared to off it (the defense doesn’t change much). They will miss him when he’s out.

His absence will simply lead to more inconsistency from what is already the most inconsistent good team in the league. The Clippers are out on their Grammy road trip and have lived up to their roller coaster reputation, beating the Spurs on Saturday then losing to the Nets on Monday (a Brooklyn team they beat by 39 just a few games ago).

Jarrett Jack nails game-winning jumper, lifts Nets over Clippers (VIDEO)

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For Nets fans, their favorite part of the above video is Jarrett Jack recognizing the mismatch, crossing over DeAndre Jordan enough to create space and nailing the elbow jumper. That shot lifted the Nets to an upset win over the Clippers, 102-100.

My favorite part? That Jack has to do four jump-and-bumps with teammates after making this shot. I was waiting for Lionel Hollins to come out and do one.

The Nets played solid defense taking away the easy dunks and baskets from the Clippers for the most part, and the Clippers guards Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford could not take advantage, going a combined 15-of-40 shooting. Jordan had 22 points and 20 boards for the Clippers, but if he was not 2-of-12 from the free throw line this game would have ended differently.

Brook Lopez had 24 and Joe Johnson had 22 for the Nets on the night. Deron Williams played 29 minutes in his return and had 15 points on eight shots.

Referee Mike Callahan with classy gesture to make child’s day (VIDEO)


Let’s be honest, you didn’t catch this when it happened because you didn’t watch the Knicks and Lakers play Sunday. Heck, even ESPN decided not to air the game in favor of showing nearly month-old footage from Chris Paul’s celebrity bowling event.

Referee Mike Callahan made a classy move. The Knicks (like almost every NBA team) throws (or shoots) team shirts into the stands at one point, except on Sunday some Knicks fan threw theirs back onto the court while the game was in play. Not cool — I get not wanting the shirt, but come on now. Callahan picked up the shirt, took it to the sidelines and handed it to this little boy, making his day.

The Knicks went on to win the game and Carmelo Anthony had a big night with 31 points and a huge dunk.