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Scott Foster ‘The Extender’, explained: How the controversial NBA referee got his nickname

Right or wrong, few officials in sports are as remarkable as the NBA’s Scott Foster.

Foster, who wears No. 48, is in his 30th season as an NBA official and has played in more than 20 games in the NBA Finals. He will add to his numbers when he calls games during the 2024 NBA Finals between the Celtics and Mavericks.

Throughout his executive career, Foster has made headlines with a long-running feud with Chris Paul, his (un)familiarity with rapper Jack Harlow and, most notably, a tendency that led to him being nicknamed “The Extender.”

How did Foster get this nickname? This is why the name has stuck with the veteran official.

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Scott Foster β€œThe Extender,” explained

Foster is called The Extender because teams tend to avoid elimination when Foster is a member of the game’s officiating crew.

Most recently, Foster was on the phone as the Timberwolves fell behind 3-0 to the Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals. Coincidence or not, Minnesota avoided a sweep with a five-point win over Dallas.

In response to Foster’s alleged role in the one-game extended series, 11-year NBA veteran Gilbert Arenas turned to X (formerly Twitter) to add fuel to the fire of The Extender’s story.

Arenas’ message was simple: Foster’s portrait photo with the text ‘series extended’ at the bottom.

Contrary to the story, however, is that Foster was on the phone when the Knicks eliminated the 76ers in Game 6 of the opening round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs. While fans leaned on the story by calling on Foster to extend the series to a decisive seventh game, New York was able to get the job done with a three-point victory.

Now that Foster has been lined up as one of 12 officials who will call this year’s finals, fans can pay closer attention to his assignments once one of the Celtics or Mavericks is eliminated from the series.

Scott Foster stats

According to Basketball Reference, Foster has refereed 1,820 games in his NBA career. The home team has won 60.1 percent of those matches, while the road team has come out on top 39.9 percent of the time.

The two teams Foster has refereed the most in his career: Dallas (145) and Boston (133).