VanVleet fined $30,000 for 'unfortunate' referee criticism
Fred VanVleet has been fined $30,000 for his criticism of a referee following the Toronto Raptors' loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Toronto went down 108-100 to the Clippers in Los Angeles on Wednesday after the hosts had more than twice as many free-throws awarded (31-14), and VanVleet – who was called for a technical foul in the third quarter – aimed strong criticism in particular at referee Ben Taylor after the game.
Although the Raptors point guard admitted his comments had been "unfortunate" he also claimed to have felt he had run out of other options.
"Speaking for a lot of guys, obviously I was frustrated, emotional," VanVleet said on Thursday. "But there are a lot of people that feel that way. Hopefully going forward we see some change for the better, the betterment of the game. It was a little emotional, a tough loss, things not going our way, [I] got caught up in the moment a little bit.
"You live and you learn and you move on. It came out authentic, it came out in real time. I wouldn't have done that if I felt like I had another option or outlet. I felt like I've exhausted my options this season, many different occasions. It is just one of those things, I am human.
"You will see me make mistakes in real time and make things that are not always perfect. A little unprofessional for my standard, so it was unfortunate."
Boston Celtics point guard Marcus Smart has also been critical of officiating in the past, and referred to VanVleet's comments when speaking to reporters on Thursday.
"I don't know if you saw Fred VanVleet's interview, that is all I am going to say," Smart said. "Obviously, it lets you know that I am not speaking out of my butt and I am not the only one that feels that way. I am going to let Fred do all the talking."