Scott Foster, sharply criticized by Houston star James Harden more than two months ago, is one of the officials for Tuesday night’s playoff game between the Rockets and Golden State Warriors.
It will be the first time Foster has worked a Rockets’ game since Feb. 21, when Harden fouled out in a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers and sharply criticized Foster afterward. Harden said Foster shouldn’t be given any more Houston games due to a perceived personal vendetta with the team.
“It’s lingering, and it’s something that has to be looked at for sure,” Harden told reporters after the game. “For sure, it’s personal. For sure. I don’t think he should be able to even officiate our games anymore, honestly.”
Harden also said Foster was “just rude and arrogant” when interacting with players.
The NBA fined Harden $25,000 for his comments.
The NBA releases the names of the officiating crews on the morning of the games. Ed Malloy and Eric Lewis are the other officials for Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals between Houston and the Warriors. Rodney Mott is the alternate.
The assignments for the first four games of the series were worked out prior to the start.
Ironically, a Houston memo regarding last season’s Game 7 of the Western Conference finals was obtained by ESPN on Monday. The Rockets lost that game to the Warriors 101-92.
Houston’s tabulations said it was cost 18.6 points by the officiating crew and the memo submitted to the NBA stated that “referees likely changed the eventual NBA champion.”
Foster was one of the officials for that game.
Houston lost Game 1 of the current series 104-100 on Sunday. The NBA’s Last Two Minute report displayed there were three incorrect non-calls in the final 71 seconds the game — all of which went in favor of Golden State.
—Field Level Media