Chris Paul

Stephen A rips NBA ref Foster for CP3 ejection from Warriors-Suns game

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Chris Paul's sudden ejection from the Warriors' Wednesday game against the Phoenix Suns sent the NBA world into a frenzy.

The incident added to the longtime feud between the Warriors point guard and NBA official Scott Foster, and Paul called it "personal" after Golden State's 123-115 loss to his former team.

The next morning, Stephen A. Smith agreed that it seems personal between the two, and called out Foster's lack of professionalism when it comes to Paul.

"It is clearly personal with Chris Paul. There is no denying it," Smith said Thursday on ESPN's "First Take." "And you saw it there last night. … There's no getting around the fact that Chris Paul is making very, very valid points about personal animous that exists. …

"The problem with Scott Foster in my opinion is that Scott Foster tries to give the impression of pristine professionalism when it comes to Chris Paul. And that's not the case when it comes to Chris Paul. He's not pristinely a professional when it comes to Chris Paul. It's personal. He's not objective, he can get subjective. And Chris Paul clearly gets on his nerves, and he's shown it from time to time.

"And that's why Chris Paul needed to point out what he pointed out last night. And the NBA needs to do something about it. Scott Foster, no disrespect, I understand Chris Paul ain't Steph Curry or LeBron James, but I'll be damned if we ain't come to see him more than we've came to see Scott Foster. These officials ejecting players having no regard for the paying customer who came there to see a damn basketball game need to get checked. Scott Foster does not need to be on the same court as Chris Paul moving forward."

Both Smith and ESPN's Brian Windhorst agreed it'd be best if the league somehow could find a way to prevent Foster from officiating games in which Paul plays.

And with the ongoing "beef" between the two, receipts were pulled out. In 20 of Paul's playoff games that Foster has officiated, the probable Hall of Fame point guard has a 3-17 record. In 15 of those games, Paul's team was favored.

Smith believes that's not an accident, and it's "too glaring" of a coincidence to ignore.

"Now let's understand who we're talking about when we're talking about Chris Paul," Smith said. "We're talking about one of the greatest point guards in the history of basketball. You can slice it any way you want to -- he's not a champion, we get all of that. Incredibly brilliant. A basketball savant. Here's the problem. He's such a basketball savant that he can highlight better than most the mistakes officials make. So, because of that, if you're an official, you can have a player whining and moaning and complaining -- that's not Chris Paul.

"If you've ever talked to Chris Paul, and obviously I have, Chris Paul will grill you. He don't just make statements. He comes at you with questions. He literally interrogates you. So, if you're an official and there's a hiccup in your game in any way, he will expose you and he will spend the game calling you out because he wants you to get things right. So, in that regard, it can be incredibly frustrating for a guy like Scott Foster, who's been around for ages, who's widely and universally respected in terms of his capabilities."

While Smith and Windhorst understand Paul probably was continuously running his mouth at Foster and questioning his decisions, they agree that it's not Paul's job to keep his composure -- it's Foster's. They also believe Foster might have let his ego get in the way.

Paul, who was ejected for just the seventh time in his 19-year NBA career, acknowledged that he'll likely see Foster soon, but he admitted he must do better for his team and do whatever it takes to stay on the court, no matter the circumstance.

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