Report: NBA Referee Demoted After Fred VanVleet Public Criticism

Normally, when NBA players have it out with a referee, it's not usually the player who comes out on top of the disagreement. That makes recent developments quite stunning, after Toronto Raptors' guard Fred VanVleet absolutely ripped official Ben Taylor personally following a game. 

Since Fred's rant, Taylor, it seems, has been demoted.

According to NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh, the NBA demoted Taylor out of his usual crew chief role in four of the five games after the VanVleet press conference.

"It's a real abnormality... If you look at Ben Taylor's previous 52 games this season, he was the crew chief in 41 of those games. But since that rant, the NBA has said, 'you know, you're going to be 'Referee 2' in this one, and then again....

"To put it in perspective, Ben Taylor hadn't been a Referee 2 in back-to-back games all season. I don't know... whether that's punishment, or it's 'hey, you need to chill out a little bit."

Here's how it went down with VanVleet after a game two weeks ago:

"Ben Taylor was f***** terrible tonight."

Strike a victory for the little guy on this one. Mr. Bet On Yourself, VanVleet, bet that a personal strike against a particular ref would pay off, and it seems that it did.

Coming into the season, Taylor had officiated 499 regular-season games and 22 playoff games in nine seasons as an NBA staff official