Clippers' Chris Paul fined $25,000 for criticizing officiating
Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul was fined $25,000 for criticizing the officiating during the Clippers' loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday.
Paul criticized Lauren Holtkamp on Thursday night after a loss at Cleveland, saying she might not be ready for the big leagues after six seasons in the NBA Development League. Holtkamp, who also has worked in the WNBA, is one of two active female officials in the NBA.
Lee Seham, general counsel of the National Basketball Referees Association, said in a statement his group reviewed Holtkamp's calls and ''deems them fully justified.''
''Furthermore,'' he added, ''the NBRA deplores the personal and unprofessional comments made by Chris Paul. She belongs.''
Paul was called for a technical foul by Holtkamp during the Clippers' 105-94 loss in Cleveland. Following a free throw by Cleveland with 10:17 left in the third quarter, the Clippers were attempting to inbound quickly when Holtkamp stepped in. Paul questioned her and was slapped with the technical.
''The tech I got was ridiculous,'' Paul said. ''That's terrible. There's no way that can be a technical. We try to get the ball out fast every time down the court. When we did that, she said, `Uh-uh.' I said, `Why uh-uh?' and she gave me a technical. That's ridiculous. If that's the case, this might not be for her.''
Michele Roberts backed the Los Angeles Clippers guard in a strongly worded statement, noting Paul's role in making her the first woman to head a North American major sports union last summer.
''Any suggestion that Chris Paul would ever conduct himself in a disrespectful manner towards women is utterly ridiculous, outrageous and patently false,'' Roberts said. ''His personal management team, which includes several accomplished women who play a major role in virtually all of his business affairs, is, alone, evidence of that fact.''
The Associated Press contributed to this report