Paul George Slams Referees: 'There's Gotta Be a Change,' 'Nothing I Can Do'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 9, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 8: Paul George #13 of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks on during the game against the LA Clippers on March 8, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

Oklahoma City Thunder superstar forward Paul George can expect a fine from the NBA after publicly criticizing officials following the team's 118-110 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.

Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com provided the full remarks from George, who said, "There's gotta be a change, but there's nothing that I can do," after the Thunder incurred a 34-26 foul disparity in the contest. George, point guard Russell Westbrook and center Steven Adams all fouled out during the fourth quarter.

"It's just bad officiating. I'm sorry, just bad officiating. We don't get a fair whistle. We haven't gotten a fair whistle all year. ... Somebody's got to look into this. It's getting out of hand, where we somehow just walk teams to the line. And there's nobody that gets more contact. If I don't speak for myself, I speak for Russ. There's nobody that gets more contact than Russ going to the basket. And it's just crazy.

"I don't understand it. It's a piece of s--- being on that floor. We giving everything we got. We're playing hard. We're getting grabbed. We're getting scratched, clawed, held, shoved. And there's nothing for it. The officials just get to walk out, and there's nothing that penalizes them for not officiating the game the right way."

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Neither Westbrook nor OKC head coach Billy Donovan were willing to match the MVP candidate's strong stance following the game, per Youngmisuk.

"To play without fouling is tough sometimes," Westbrook said. "A lot of those guys, like, play to get fouled. That is how the game is nowadays. It's not really basketball. You're just playing to get fouled to see what happens."

Donovan added: "Too much fouling. Our guys are playing hard and competing, but like there is no reason for Lou Williams to get to the free throw line 20 times. We've got to know that. And like our guys are playing really hard and are really competing, but we are fouling too much away from the ball when we don't have to."

The Thunder are called for the fourth-most fouls per game (22.8), according to Team Rankings. They are also tied for the most technical fouls (0.7 per game).

George has compiled $198,000 worth of fines throughout his NBA career, $50,000 of which was for three separate instances of criticism of officials, per Spotrac.

The Thunder, who sit fourth in the Western Conference with a 40-26 record, return to action Monday night with a road game against the Utah Jazz.

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