The world of professional basketball can be as divisive as it is competitive, and the referees who officiate the games are no exception. In a recent poll conducted among 59 current NBA players, Scott Foster was voted the worst referee in the league, receiving 25.4% of the votes. Tony Brothers, Evan Scott, Marc Davis, Tyler Ford, and Ben Taylor also received multiple votes. Other referees accounted for 30.5% of the vote, but only got a single vote apiece.
Scott Foster Voted NBA’s Worst Ref by Current Players
Foster’s reputation as a polarizing figure in the NBA extends beyond the court, with many questioning his relationship with some of the league’s top players. Chris Paul, for example, has publicly complained about Foster on multiple occasions, which has undoubtedly influenced the veteran official’s perception among players and fans alike. Now, current NBA players have voted Foster the worst ref in the league in a poll conducted by The Athletic.
Despite the criticism, the NBA insists that Foster is one of their highest-rated referees. With 29 seasons under his belt, Foster has officiated 226 playoff games, including 23 NBA Finals appearances. So, why do NBA players seem to have such a negative opinion of him?
Chris Paul v Scott Foster
Perhaps the answer lies in the peculiar correlation between Foster’s officiating and Chris Paul’s playoff performances which brings Foster into the spotlight more than other referees.
Before the Suns’ 123-109 win over the Clippers in Round 1 of the 2023 NBA Playoffs, Paul had lost 13 straight Foster-officiated playoff games. In fact, Paul’s overall playoff record with Foster as the referee is an abysmal 3-17, spanning five different teams.
BREAKING: Chris Paul broke the Scott Foster curse pic.twitter.com/Bd1sR8zUYC
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) April 19, 2023
While player records should generally be independent of officials, this connection is difficult to ignore. Some speculate that there may be a personal vendetta between Paul and Foster, while others wonder if Foster dislikes Paul’s tendency to blur the line between player and official.
Regardless of the reason, the contentious relationship between the two has become a talking point among fans and players alike.
Despite the negative opinions, it’s essential to remember that NBA players’ views on referees are often divided. For example, one player labeled Tony Brothers as “the worst ref to ever do it in the NBA,” while another player offered a completely opposite perspective.
In a league as competitive as the NBA, it’s no surprise that emotions run high, and referees often bear the brunt of players’ frustrations.