‘She was in her feelings’: LA Lakers ace Montrezl Harrell claims female NBA official gave ‘soft’ call because she felt ‘belittled’

Los Angeles Lakers forward Montrezl Harrell was left perplexed by the performance of referee Jenna Schroeder in an agonizing defeat on Wednesday, claiming that she gave a foul against him because she was “holding onto a grudge”.

Towering Harrell had a frustrating game in the 123-120 loss to the Sacremento Kings, suffering the narrow defeat despite scoring 26 points and 11 rebounds ahead of the All-Star break.

After putting his side 33-26 ahead in the second quarter, Harrell said he had yelled “and-1” on his retreat – a term used to appeal for a free throw in the belief of being fouled on a successful shot.

“No cursing, no profanity, none of that,” insisted the 6ft7in Sixth Man of the Year.

“And she turned around and gave me a tech because she was in her feelings, because she felt like I was too loud with her or I belittled her when we were talking [earlier].

“You can’t bring that into the game. I don’t care who it is; I don’t care what the situation is.

“Whether me and you or me and whatever ref got into it, in a verbal conversation the play before, just because you’re still holding onto a grudge from that, you cannot come back and give me a [technical foul].”

Harrell added that he would have arena employees at the Kings’ home and onlookers from both teams supported him.

“The tech that I got definitely was a big one for me and definitely shouldn’t have been called, because at [that] instance of, I’m not looking at her [Schroeder]. I was nowhere near her vicinity. I’m running back on defense.

“I think some of the referees – and this is not bashing any referee in general – but there cannot be any instances of calling the game that soft.”

The 27-year-old promised that the incident would not silence him as he bids to help the Lakers improve a run of seven defeats in 10 games.

“I’m going to keep playing with the same passion and fire that I do. I didn’t stop talking throughout the rest of the game.

“I kept playing with the same fire and same mode that I had all game. It just is what it is.”

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