G League Coach Goes Off on ‘F---ing Clown’ Ref After Team Blows 21-Point Lead

In Monday’s Hot Clicks: A coach’s epic rant, an NHL Cinderella story and more.
Publish date:

You know it’s been a rough game when you look like you’ve been coaching in a wind tunnel

Wisconsin Herd head coach Chase Buford addresses the media and rips the referees after losing to the Grand Rapids drive

In case you couldn’t tell from the photo above, Wisconsin Herd head coach Chase Buford had a bad night on Sunday. 

Buford’s squad (the G League affiliate for the Bucks) imploded at home against the Grand Rapids Drive, blowing a 21-point fourth-quarter lead to lose 126–117. The Herd were outscored 48–20 in the final period, hence Buford’s Adam Gase–like look.

Addressing reporters after the game, Buford vented his frustrations with his team’s play but didn’t lay all the blame at his players’ feet. He also took issue with how the game was officiated, even going as far as to single out a specific ref as a “f---ing clown.”

"The officiating definitely went right for Grand Rapids,” Buford said. “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 f---ing clown. That being said, we have to be so much better at the end of games. 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.”

As someone who grew up around basketball—Buford’s father is legendary Spurs executive R.C. Buford—he should know better than to blame the referees for his team getting outscored by 28 points in 12 minutes. I don’t know how many calls would have to go against your team to swing the game by 28 points. 

The team released a statement on Buford’s behalf a few hours later apologizing for the rant. 

Herd general manager Dave Dean said in a statement that the team is “discussing the situation internally and the appropriate discipline for Coach Buford” and will make an announcement Monday.

A zamboni driver beat the Leafs

There’s nothing in sports quite like emergency backup goaltenders in the NHL. A couple of times per year, a guy gets pulled out of the stands to sit on the bench after an injury to a goalie. It’s pretty rare for the guy off the street to get in the game, and what David Ayres did for the Hurricanes on Saturday night is unprecedented

Ayres, a 42-year-old kidney transplant survivor who drives a zamboni for the Maple Leafs’ minor league affiliate, not only saw over 28 minutes of ice time in emergency duty, he got the win after allowing just two goals in a 6–3 victory. No emergency backup had ever gotten a win in the NHL before. 

The reception he got in the dressing room was incredible.

The performance turned Ayres into an instant media darling. Just look at all the interviews he’s doing. 

The best of SI

Tyson Fury is back on top of the boxing world after knocking out Deontay Wilder. ... The case for J.R. Smith's signing with the Lakers. ... Former USMNT star Jermaine Jones didn’t hold anything back in this interview with Grant Wahl.

Around the sports world

A Ravens lineman demolished a 72-ounce steak in just 48 minutes. ... A former Yankees prospect is now a professional opera singer. ... Fans hoping to heckle the Astros at their first spring training game had their signs stolen. ... The original NHL expansion certificate for the Sabres was found in a storage locker. ... This one’s for only subscribers to The Athletic, but Madison Bumgarner has been using an alias to compete in rodeo events.

This should be worth a bigger prize

84 years old + 94 feet away = new car

The XFL’s double forward pass rule makes for some cool trick plays

The XFL’s first kick return TD was pretty tricky, too

Are there any dentists reading this who can tell me whether this is a bad idea?

32 and the late bucket to ice it for Melo

Four goals in one game. Normal stuff for Lionel Messi.

KD’s rehab is not going well

The new Phillie Phanatic is ... barely different?

This fan’s already in midseason form

Not sports

A bird found frozen in the Siberian permafrost was determined to be 46,000 years old. ... The Ringer is making a podcast series about the rise and fall of the once-popular HQ Trivia app. ... A man who built a homemade rocket to prove Earth is flat died when it crashed over the weekend.

I had no idea worms could be the size of snakes

Where does he tell his wife he’s going?

A good song

Email dan.gartland@si.com with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.