Timberwolves forward Taj Gibson sharply criticized game official Lauren Holtkamp following his team’s 105-100 loss to the Hawks on Monday at Philips Arena.
Holtkamp assessed a technical foul against Gibson in the fourth quarter, soon after she’d also assessed a technical foul on his teammate, Jeff Teague. Hawks guard Dennis Schroder made one of the two technical free throws to give the Hawks a 91-90 lead with 5:46 to play.
“All I said to her is, ‘You’ve got to give (Teague) a warning,’” Gibson said. “Throughout the game Schroder was cussing her. He was yelling at her the whole game. All I said (to her) is, ‘You’ve got to do the same on both sides. You can’t let him talk to you any kind of way and then Jeff says a few words to you, and you blow up.’
“And she gave me a tech. I’ve been going through that with her over the years. She has a short whistle.”
Holtkamp is in her fourth season as an NBA official.
Gibson’s comments come amid increasing tension between NBA players and coaches and the league’s referees. Three players and three officials are set to meet during All-Star weekend in Los Angeles next month to discuss ways to improve relations. The NBA last week announced an initiative to smooth over relations.