Chris Paul Criticizes Female Ref Following Clippers loss to Cavs [Video]


Thursday night the Clippers faced off against the Cavaliers in Cleveland, in a nationally televised game on TNT. At one point the Clippers were down by 31, obviously frustrated, the team and head coach Doc Rivers racked up 5 techs. Matt Barnes received two and was ejected from the game.


But that’s not the controversy. Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan both received techs from first-year ref Lauren Holtkamp. Following the game, CP3 made this statement.

“I think we have to show better composure but at the same time some of [the technical fouls] were ridiculous. 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.”

Holtkamp T’d up CP3 in the third quarter. The Clippers were trying to inbound the ball when Holtkamp stopped them. Paul questioned her and was hit with the technical. Paul also was assessed with a flagrant during the game. The Clippers lead the league in technical fouls called.

In the era of the sound bite or “hot take,” there’s got to be something sexiest about what Paul said, right?  That’s what the buzz was in the social media space following the game. Criticizing a ref was going to her a buzz regardless, because players critiquing refs is generally frowned upon by the league office. Expect a fine for CP3.

But, it sounds to me like it had more to do with her rookie status than her gender. If the ref in question was a man, you insert “he.”  Same impact. But the next question would be, would he have included the last dig, “this might not be for her” if the ref in question were a man.

You never know, but what’s guaranteed, someone will try to make the argument that this is about gender instead of being about a team trying to excuse its way out of a bad showing, or a ref with a quick whistle.

This is Holtkamp’s first season in the NBA, after moving up in the ranks from the NBA D-League.

Holtkamp is the third full-time female ref in NBA history, following Violet Palmer – still active- and Dee Kantner.