Houston Rockets star James Harden was fined $25,000 by the NBA for his criticism of the officiating after their 111-106 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night at the Staples Center, the league announced on Saturday.
Harden fouled out late in the fourth quarter after scoring 30 points in the loss — extending his historic scoring streak to 32 games — but was extremely critical of referee Scott Foster.
“Scott Foster … I never really talk about officiating, but he’s just rude and arrogant,” Harden said after the game.
He went even further, too.
“For sure, it’s personal,” Harden said. “For sure. I don’t think he should be able to even officiate our games anymore, honestly.”
The reigning league MVP said he knew a fine was likely coming after those comments, but he didn’t care. He said he was “frustrated with Foster’s demeanor on the court” because they can’t talk to each other during the game and they can’t build a relationship that way.
Foster called 12 fouls on the Rockets in the game on Thursday — including seven in the fourth quarter and a technical foul on Chris Paul with just 33 seconds left in overtime.
Paul, naturally, wasn’t happy with Foster after the game, either.
“I don’t know what else to do, know what I mean?” Paul said. “I met with the league with [Foster] before and all this stuff. I don’t know what else to do.”
Harden finished with 30 points, six assists and six rebounds in the loss, shooting 11-of-24 from the field.
Harden out against Warriors
Harden will not play on Saturday night when the Rockets take on the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, coach Mike D’Antoni announced Saturday afternoon.
Harden is sick in addition to dealing with the cervical strain.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) February 24, 2019
Harden is currently dealing with a cervical strain in his neck, and also battling flu-like symptoms. It’s not clear when Harden first suffered the neck injury, but he did receive treatment on his shoulder and neck on the bench on Thursday against the Lakers.
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