Chris Paul’s return to Phoenix took an unexpected turn on Wednesday night when he was ejected from the game during the final minute of the second quarter. The ejection came after he received a pair of technical fouls from referee Scott Foster, a figure with whom Paul has a history of contention.
“It’s personal,” Paul said. “We had a situation some years ago and it’s personal. The league knows. Everybody knows. There’s been a meeting and all of that. … I’m OK with a ref saying whatever they’re saying, but don’t use a tech to get your point across.”
Chris Paul’s teammates and coach, Steve Kerr, acknowledged that Paul earned his first technical by complaining about a foul call. However, they disagreed with the quick decision to issue a second technical just seconds later. Referee Scott Foster stated that both technicals were for “unsportsmanlike conduct.”
“I didn’t think Chris deserved to be ejected,” Kerr said. “The first tech, absolutely. But I thought the second one was unnecessary. Everybody gets frustrated out there.”
“When both player and ref engage in conversation, that has to stay there,” Stephen Curry said. “I told Scott that after he ejected him. There are certain situations where players overstep. There are times when you know you have to back off. But when both are engaging, I don’t like that.”
There appears to be a historical trend of losses for Chris Paul’s teams in games officiated by referee Scott Foster. The animosity between Paul and Foster may have started during Paul’s time with the Clippers, involving an incident with Paul’s son. Paul hinted at a meeting involving himself, his father, Foster, and former Clippers head coach Doc Rivers. The guard emphasized the need to avoid situations that lead to technical fouls in future games officiated by Foster.