Veteran NBA referee Scott Foster has quite the reputation.
Foster is in his 29th year in the league and his known among both fans and players as one of its most controversial refs.
Just ask Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul.
Foster added another layer to his story on Monday night while refereeing a regular season game between the Denver Nuggets and Toronto Raptors.
Let’s set the scene:
The 32-33 Raptors controlled the game against the Western Conference leading Nuggets for much of the night. Toronto led after each of the first three quarters.
The two teams went back and forth for much of the final quarter, with the Raptors leading 113-112 for a minute to play.
That’s when Foster showed up.
He began the run by whistling a questionable foul against Toronto’s Scottie Barnes. Raptors coach Nick Nurse challenged. But the call was upheld. Nikola Jokic then hit two free throws to put Denver ahead 114-113.
At the other, refs whistled Jokic for a foul on a driving Barnes. Denver coach Mike Malone then challenged the called and was successful, as it was overturned.
Back on the other end, Toronto center Jakob Poetl was called for a foul on Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon. But before the free throws could be shot, Foster threw Barnes out of the game.
The call left Barnes, his teammates, and even the other referees looking stunned.
Bro look at the ref next to Scottie Barnes after Scott Foster ejected him, he legit had no idea what is going on pic.twitter.com/V8MyUjA8B8
— Ahmed/The Ears/IG: BigBizTheGod 🇸🇴 (@big_business_) March 7, 2023
This ref was confused aswell 😭😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/sYr8BrU8Sf
— Lane/misxs (@lane_shaffer10) March 7, 2023
Barnes explained the situation in a game post-game press conference.
Ok we have all the evidence to determine what happened:
1) Scottie Barnes says during postgame presser he was “just talking to myself”
2) Scottie Barnes following whistle says “yall are cheating bro”
3) Scott Foster says Scottie “questioned integrity of the crew” in Pool Report pic.twitter.com/gTMou8G0bK
— Sherwob Holmes (@WorldWideWob) March 7, 2023
While Foster also offered his side of the equation.
Well there you go, Barnes was ejected on one tech https://t.co/0Sy5luZIaf pic.twitter.com/xewc7ysOrS
— CJ Fogler AKA Perc70 #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) March 7, 2023
NBA Fans Slam Scott Foster For Late-Game Calls In Raptors-Nuggets Game
Fans weren’t buying Foster’s justification for the ejection.
i for one am shocked that scott foster would enforce the silliest rules. im gonna go at him like im trying to back down a point guard on a mismatch! https://t.co/WIPmGiDCYA
— a wolf in wolf's clothing (@MostCrucified) March 7, 2023
Oh so he’s legit cheating 😂😂😂 https://t.co/w958AmguXc
— MACKTAVIOUS (@macktaviousss) March 7, 2023
If you think Scott Foster didn’t have a dollar on the game last night you’re wrong. No one makes that call https://t.co/2sIVHUascq
— Yard (@TheRealYardLock) March 7, 2023
Scott Foster got a lil too angry at it😭NBA needa launch an investigation to that https://t.co/GnaClmUs85
— cj🌊 (@yessirskiicj) March 7, 2023
Ultimately, refs rarely face any sort of repercussion regardless of the class that they make. And Foster may technically be correct about what Barnes said.
But it’s still a massive decision late in a game that doesn’t need to be made.