“Never Been a Foul Baiter”: Stephen Curry ‘Slyly’ Calls Out Refs, Explains Not Pursuing Foul Calls

“Never Been a Foul Baiter”: Stephen Curry ‘Slyly’ Calls Out Refs, Explains Not Pursuing Foul Calls

On Thursday, Stephen Curry was in his element against the Los Angeles Lakers as he racked up 32 points, eight assists, and three steals in a comfortable 128-110 win for the Golden State Warriors. While he had his way with the Lakers’ defense, the referees overlooked a few plays that should’ve been called fouls. Curry finished the game with only two free throw attempts but should’ve had more.

During the post-game press conference, Curry was asked about the referees’ restraint in blowing their whistle and sending him to the free-throw line. He said,

“I’ve never been a foul baiter or worried about selling calls. And I’ve never really obsessed over it. I mean, I’ve made jokes like, ‘I got two free throws today. Cheated!’ Just being sarcastic. But mostly, there’s been like two or three possessions in the last three games where it’s like, ‘That should’ve been a foul.’”

Curry explained how such engagements distract him from the game, “And you get distracted by the argument with the ref. I’ve been trying to not engage in it for the most part.”

Curry explained that handing players free throws is up to the referee’s discretion. He doesn’t concern himself with the lack of foul calls and focuses on making the best play possible.


While Curry’s attitude is commendable, the referees not blowing their whistle on defenders against the Warriors guard is concerning. This season, he’s the league’s sixth-highest scorer with 28.1 points per game but averages only 5.1 free throw attempts, which ranks 28th.

Among the 17 players averaging at least 24.5 points, Curry ranks last in free throw attempts. 11 point guards are averaging at least 20 points per game, and only three are shooting fewer free throws than the Warriors superstar. Probably, Curry’s refusal to throw his head back or hit the floor to sell contact is hurting his free throw numbers. He’s being punished for not cheating the system, an indictment of the league’s refereeing standards.

Steve Kerr lauds Stephen Curry for not foul-baiting
Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was also asked about Stephen Curry’s surprisingly low free-throw attempts. He took the opportunity to laud the guard, saying,

“He’s the most skilled played I’ve ever seen. This is a league where the game is geared towards the offensive players. So, there’s a lot of guys who’re taking advantage of that and seeking fouls. Steph has just never played like that. He doesn’t do all that stuff.”


Kerr also lauded Curry for starting games strong and setting the tone for the rest of the team to build off it. He scored 16 of the Warriors’ 31 first-quarter points and helped them build an early lead, which the Lakers couldn’t catch up to.

Curry’s stellar impact in a transition year for the Warriors has them in contention for a playoff berth. He’s having one of his most impressive campaigns at the age of 35 and without any additional help from the referees in the form of easy foul calls.

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