Ben Taylor, a seasoned member of the NBA referee squad with an impressive nine-season tenure, recently found himself in the spotlight due to an incident involving Fred VanVleet. This incident has generated significant interest, prompting people to delve deeper into Ben Taylor’s professional journey and gain insights into the clash with VanVleet.
A Decade with the NBA
On one side, we have Fred VanVleet, a renowned professional basketball player proudly representing the Toronto Raptors in the National Basketball Association (NBA). On the other side stands Ben Taylor, an esteemed NBA referee whose association with the league spans nine seasons. During his time as an NBA referee, Ben Taylor has officiated approximately 500 regular-season games and overseen 22 postseason matchups. His journey to this point involved years of dedicated work, including a notable six-season stint as a referee in the G-League, along with some valuable experience in FIBA.
The National Basketball Referee Association fondly recalls one of Ben Taylor’s standout moments when he officiated a game in which LeBron James, a basketball legend, scored a remarkable career-high of 61 points against the Bobcats. His early career was marked by dedication and hard work, ultimately leading to his full-time role as an NBA referee since 2014, following his six-season journey in the NBA’s G League.
The Clash with VanVleet
The incident that recently captured the attention of sports enthusiasts and media outlets revolved around Fred VanVleet’s critical remarks regarding NBA referees, with a specific focus on Ben Taylor. The tipping point occurred during a third-quarter game against the Clippers when VanVleet received a technical foul from Ben Taylor. In the current season, VanVleet accumulated a total of eight technical fouls, and remarkably, three of these were attributed to calls made by Ben Taylor. Frustration reached its peak when VanVleet was assessed a third foul by Ben Taylor. He openly expressed his frustration, resorting to the use of strong language, including profanity and derogatory remarks.
VanVleet asserted that he was prepared to accept any fines imposed on him. He openly criticized Ben Taylor, emphasizing that most of his technical fouls during the season had been called by this particular referee. The repetitive encounters with Ben Taylor had a personal impact on him, leading to heightened emotions during the game. However, VanVleet later acknowledged the vital role of referees in the NBA, expressing appreciation for the league’s proficient officiating. He recognized that players do not have the authority to question or comment on referees’ decisions, as referees play a pivotal role in ensuring fair and just gameplay. Consequently, VanVleet faced a fine of $30,000 from the NBA for his critical remarks regarding the officiating.