Clippers' Chris Paul fined $25,000 for publicly criticizing referee

Clippers point guard Chris Paul has been fined $25,000 by NBA for criticizing referee Lauren Holtkamp

Clippers point guard Chris Paul has been fined $25,000 by the NBA for criticizing a referee after the team's 105-94 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday.

Rod Thorn, the NBA's president of basketball operations, announced the fine Saturday. The $25,000 fine is the standard amount for the public criticism of an NBA official.

Paul criticized a call made by referee Lauren Holtkamp after the game, but later said his comments had nothing to do with Holtkamp being a woman.

"You know, last night was about a bad call, that's all," Paul said.

Paul received a technical foul from Holtkamp during the third quarter after the Clippers were too quick in attempting an in-bound pass after a free throw by the Cavaliers. Paul disagreed with the call, saying it was "ridiculous."

"We're trying to get the ball out fast every time down the court and when we did that she said, 'Uh-uh,' and I said, 'Why uh-uh?' and she gave me a tech and that's ridiculous," Paul said Thursday. "If that's the case, then this might not be for her."

The implication that Paul was criticizing Holtkamp's refereeing because of her gender drew a rebuke from the NBA Referees Assn., which posted to its Twitter account that it "deplores the personal and unprofessional comments made by Chris Paul."

The union also tweeted that Holtkamp's calls during the game were "fully justified."

Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said he didn't think Paul's comments were "a gender issue at all."

"I don't think the technical was warranted either, to be honest, but that's not a gender issue," Rivers said.

Times staff writer Ben Bolch contributed to this report.

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