Rather than discussing the fact the Toronto Raptors had four players score more than 20 points or looking at the Los Angeles Lakers getting a tremendous boost from Anthony Davis' 41 points, Darko Rajakovic and the rest of the NBA world spent the aftermath of LA's 132-131 win in awe at the incompetence of Ben Taylor.
Several calls near the end of the game seemed to go against Toronto and in favor of Los Angeles. The Lakers attempted a preposterous 23 free throws in the fourth quarter, while Toronto had just two.
With Immanuel Quickley fouling out, RJ Barrett getting called for a questionable offensive foul late, and Scottie Barnes getting hacked, Raptors fans were furious.
Taylor's officiating was so incompetent that Rajakovic, known for his mild-mannered demeanor and positive attitude, went ballistic in his postgame media availability. No one on the officiating crew was safe from his ire, as he believed his team was set up for failure.
Rajakovic called the loss "not fair," saying the refs should have informed Toronto before the game the Lakers were going to be gifted a win. Not only was Rajakovic red hot over the idea that LA was given some preferential treatment on questionable calls late in the game, but he also took issue with how often Scottie Barnes was getting fouled on drives with no call from the refs.
Toronto Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic rips Ben Taylor, refs in epic rant after Lakers loss.
Rajakovic called the result "complete BS" and added that this officiating crew should be ashamed of themselves. Between the 3:59 mark of the game (when Quickley picked up his fifth foul) and the end, the Lakers shot 18 free throws, 10 of which came before Toronto was fouling intentionally.
Eagle-eyed Raptors fans will recognize Taylor as the same official who earned a very vocal tongue-lashing from Fred VanVleet after a March loss against the Los Angeles Clippers. Taylor, who has also been called out by players like Draymond Green in the past, was demoted from crew chief a few weeks after those comments last year.
The worst part about the refs forcing Rajakovic to go berserk was it overshadowed a great game full of great shot-making, individual excellence, and back-and-forth momentum swings. The product was exceptional, but poor officiating once again ruined the day.
Rajakovic just made himself the main character on NBA Twitter after going berserk, and it's hard to be anything less than supportive of him sticking up for his players like this. Unless, of course, you're wearing purple and gold. Perhaps this will further endear him to this locker room.