Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers, NBA.com
OK, so once again here is what Chris Paul said following his team’s loss at Cleveland on Thursday, a loss that saw the Clippers whistled for five technical fouls. One of them was on Paul in the third quarter:
“I think we have to show better composure, but at the same time some of (the technical fouls) were ridiculous,” Paul told ESPN.com. “The tech that I get right there was ridiculous. I don’t care what nobody says, I don’t care what she says; that’s terrible. There’s no way that can be a tech. We try to get the ball out fast every time down the court, and when we did that, she said, ‘Uh-uh.’ I said, ‘Why, uh-uh?’ And she gave me a tech. That’s ridiculous. If that’s the case, this might not be for her.”
The “her” Paul was referring to was rookie referee Lauren Holtkamp. Now, I’m not going to go on and on about this because it is the opinion here that this is more of a non-story than anything. First of all, Paul had to say “her” because Holtkamp is a female. That doesn’t mean Paul was insinuating that perhaps “this might not be for her” just because Holtkamp is a woman. It could be he just thinks Holtkamp was way too quick on the trigger and perhaps does not belong in the league if she’s going to continue being that way.
Or do I have to remind people that Paul was a big proponent of Michele Roberts being named executive director of the National Basketball Players Association. Here is a July 29, 2014 story from ESPN.com the day of her election, in which Paul is quoted:
“Today, we started out by telling the players how monumental today was,” said Paul, the president of the players association. “We’ve never had this amount of players here for a meeting, to give their input and feedback. After all the hours and time (put in by) our executive committee, along with an amazing search committee that helped throughout this process, it’s an unbelievable feeling to have the wonderful Michele Roberts now as a part of our team.”
Sure, these are different things. Roberts is an executive in a males-only league and Holtkamp is on the floor having something to do with the outcome because she’s a game official. But as someone who has gotten to know Paul over the past couple of seasons as the Clippers’ beat writer for this newspaper, I can tell you that Paul is just not the type to hold gender against someone. That is not him. He is not a sexist pig.
To anyone thinking otherwise, forget about it. Let it go. There is nothing to this, other than frustration from a player whose team is struggling to live up to its lofty preseason expectations.