Clippers' Paul fined for criticizing officiating

New York, NY ( - Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul was fined Saturday for his criticism of the officiating in Thursday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Paul drew a fine of $25,000 from the league, which said the penalty was only for public criticism. The league's release did not reference a certain comment Paul made concerning a female official.

A total of five technical fouls were whistled against the Clippers during the 105-94 loss and Paul commented negatively on the one he received, which happened to be assessed by rookie NBA official Lauren Holtkamp.

The Clippers tried to inbound the ball quickly after a Cleveland free throw early in the third quarter and Holtkamp stopped play. Paul questioned the decision and Holtkamp followed by calling the technical foul against the All- Star guard.

"There's no way that can be a technical," said Paul after the game. "We try to get the ball out fast every time down the court. When we did that, she said, 'Uh-uh, no.' I said, 'Why uh-uh?' And she gave me a technical. That's ridiculous. If that's the case, this might not be for her."

Social media erupted with negative comments against Paul because of his use of the pronoun "her," indicating his remarks were sexist. Although, he said Friday that gender had nothing to do his statement.

"Last night was about a bad call," Paul said in Toronto, where the Clippers played the Raptors, "that's all."

Either way, the NBA officials' union was unhappy with Paul's comments.

"The NBRA has carefully reviewed the calls made by Lauren Holtkamp and deems them fully justified," the union said in a statement Friday. "Furthermore, the NBRA deplores the personal and unprofessional comments made by Chris Paul. She belongs."

Holtkamp is one of just two female officials in the league this season.