Chris Paul responds to former NBA ref calling him one of the ‘biggest a-sholes’ he ever dealt with

Jonathan Sherman
3 Min Read
Bob Kupbens-USA TODAY Sports

When former NBA referee Bill Spooner singled star point guard Chris Paul out in a recent article written by Jason Quick of The Athletic, fans probably knew that a response would come sooner rather than later.

After all, Spooner didn’t mince words when talking about his opinion of Paul.

“I’m going to tell you, and I know you are recording me, but I get asked all the time: ‘Who are some of the tough guys, some of the bad guys?’” Spooner said. “And when I tell them that Chris Paul, in my 32 years in the league, was one of the biggest a–holes I ever dealt with, they say, ‘Not Rasheed Wallace…or da-da-da?’ Nope. Nothing like (Paul). And they are like, ‘Oh, he seems like such a nice guy.’ And I say, ‘Yeah, he’s a great image cultivator.’”

If Paul is indeed a great image cultivator as Spooner suggested, he proved it with his response. Paul was recently a guest on “The Pat McAfee Show” and had no issue addressing the recent quote.

In fact, Paul doubled down on the idea and suggested that Spooner is likely not the only NBA referee who feels that way about the 12-time All-Star.

“There’s probably a lot more [referees] that feel like that,” Paul told McAfee. “That ref, I had to look him up. … He was in the league for a long time, and you probably can guess who one of his homeboys is.

“He was probably mad that I didn’t put him in that last State Farm commercial.”

The other ref that Paul alluded to in his quote is almost undoubtedly longtime ref Scott Foster. Foster and Paul have a long and adversarial history.

At the end of the day, Paul likely doesn’t spend so much time thinking about referees when he’s off the court. It stands to reason that the thought about the NBA that crosses his mind most at this point in his basketball career is his desire to win an NBA title.

Paul has been in the NBA for 19 years, and while he is a surefire Hall of Famer, he has not yet won an NBA title. In fact, he’s only ever advanced to the NBA Finals once, and that occurred back in 2021. He and the Phoenix Suns ultimately fell to the Milwaukee Bucks in that series.

Now, Paul likely only has a few more years left in his career. It will be interesting to see how much that elusive title affects his playing decisions from here on out.

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Jonathan has worked as a sports writer covering NBA and NFL news since 2017. He's a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Vikings.