NBA G-League coach Chase Buford used a postgame interview as an opportunity to vehemently criticize the poor officiating he felt his team, the Wisconsin Herd, received in a 126-117 loss to the Grand Rapids Drive on Sunday.
Buford was especially displeased with referee Matt Rafferty.
"The officiating definitely went right for Grand Rapids," Buford began, speaking to WFRV-TV in Green Bay. "That was as unprofessional as an officiating performance — I hope you tweet this out and tag the league, because that was embarrassing. Matt Rafferty is a (expletive) clown."
Buford also vented about his team's inability to close out games. Despite leading by 21 points heading into the fourth quarter of Sunday's game, the Herd collapsed in the final frame as the Drive outscores Wisconsin 48-20 to secure the victory.
A view of the NBA logo. (Photo: Bob Donnan, USA TODAY Sports)
"That being said, we have to be so much better at the end of games," Bufford said. "We can't blow a 21-point lead with 12 minutes to go. However bad and biased and unfair and illegal and cheating the referees are, we have to be better closing games. So that's the way I feel."
Buford played college basketball at Kansas as a reserve and is the son of five-time NBA champion general manager R.C. Buford. Buford was hired by the Milwaukee Bucks, which oversee the Herd, in July as the team's second-ever head coach. Prior to that he was an assistant for the G-League's Delaware Blue Coats and Erie BayHawks.
In a statement, Herd general manager Dave Dean said in response to Buford's comments: "We are discussing the situation internally and appropriate discipline for Coach Buford."
Buford released a statement of his own that read, "I deeply apologize for my behavior. It was unprofessional and I'm embarrassed. It's a tough learning experience as a first-year head coach and I am truly sorry, and will grow from this."
Early candidate for coaching rant of the year! Wisconsin Herd Head Coach Chase Buford after his team saw a 21-point lead disappear in the 4th quarter vs. Grand Rapids. And because he asked: @nbagleaguepic.twitter.com/cw5t1lMSKI
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