Fred VanVleet, NBA
#23 Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet. Bleacher Report/Twitter


  • $30,000 will be coming out of the pockets of Fred VanVleet for his expletive-laden statements
  • Internet sleuths deduces that referee Ben Taylor has assessed VanVleet with a handful of technical fouls
  • VanVleet also acknowledges that he could have handled the situation much better

Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet publicly criticizing NBA referee Ben Taylor and the officiating in general on Wednesday, March 8 had fans expecting a big fine levied against him by the league and how much he now owes the NBA has been made public.

NBA insider for The Athletic Shams Charanica revealed that VanVleet has been fined $30,000 for his comments.

Following the Raptors' 108-100 defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers, VanVleet singled out Taylor in his profanity-laden postgame comments, prefacing his firebrand statement with him not giving a care in the world about being fined.

"I thought Ben Taylor was [expletive] terrible tonight. I think that most nights, you know a couple out of the three [referees], there's just one or two that just [expletive] the game up. It's been like that a couple of games in a row... You come out tonight, competing pretty hard and in the third quarter, I get a [expletive] tech that changes the whole dynamic of the game," VanVleet initially stated.

"Most of the refs are trying hard, I like a lot of the refs. They're pretty fair and communicate well. Then you got the other ones who just want to be [expletive] and just kind of [expletive] up the game. No one's coming to see that [expletive]. They come to see the players."

With the game tied at 49 apiece entering the second half, both squads were in dire need of a win as the Raptors hope to remain in the play-in picture in the East, while the Clippers are in danger of falling to the play-in tournament in the West.

At the 7:02 mark of the third quarter and the hometown Clippers leading by seven points, Scottie Barnes was called for a personal foul as he attempted to prevent Ivica Zubac from getting the ball inside the paint which prompted VanVleet to tell his teammates "Let's fight through this [expletive]," referring to the calls.

The technical foul from Taylor then came into play and while it did not completely sink their chances of a victory, the Raptors did look shaken with what transpired as they never took the lead from the Clippers at any point moving forward.

VanVleet then told reporters that most of the technical fouls he has received this year were when Taylor was officiating and felt that it had become personal.

Credit goes to Reddit user Santibr001 on the NBA subreddit for fact-checking VanVleet's claims and it was found that five of his eight technical fouls this season did come from Taylor and many fans agreed that there appears to be true in the Toronto guard's comments.

"There's a fine line obviously, I understand that, but I think the jurisdiction and the power trip that we've been on this year with some of our officials in this league is getting out of hand. I'll take my fine for speaking on it, but it's just... this is [expletive] ridiculous," VanVleet said to close it all out according to the transcript.

VanVleet has since admitted that he could have handled it better and while the 2019 NBA champion being fined was an expected consequence, it does put a spotlight on NBA higher-ups to find a way moving forward in the hopes of preventing further outbursts.

Fred VanVleet Toronto Raptors
Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors reacts against the Brooklyn Nets during the third quarter in Game Two of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at The Field House at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 19, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images