Chris Paul fined for calling out ref

Chris Paul has been fined $25,000 for his public criticism of Lauren Holtkamp, the first-year referee who called a technical foul against the Los Angeles Clippers star point guard earlier this week.

The NBA announced the fine Saturday, two days after Paul sounded off on Holtkamp following the Clippers' loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"Some of [the technical fouls] were ridiculous," Paul said. "The tech that I get right there was ridiculous. I don't care what nobody says, I don't care what she says; that's terrible. There's no way that can be a tech. We try to get the ball out fast every time down the court, and when we did that, she said, 'Uh-uh.' I said, 'Why, uh-uh?' And she gave me a tech.

"That's ridiculous. If that's the case, this might not be for her."

The comments sparked debate over whether Paul was being disrespectful of Holtkamp based on her gender, prompting a rebuke Friday from the NBA referees union.

But a source close to the process told ESPN's Marc Stein that the NBA, after its review, does not regard Paul's comments ‎to be gender-based and issued the fine based on his public criticism.

Paul attempted to clarify his intentions Friday, repeatedly saying that it "was about a bad call."

NBA Players Association executive director Michele Roberts also publicly defended Paul in a statement Friday.

"Any suggestion that Chris Paul would ever conduct himself in a disrespectful manner towards women is utterly ridiculous, outrageous and patently false," Roberts said. "His personal management team, which includes several accomplished women who play a major role in virtually all of his business affairs is, alone, evidence of that fact. ... Without hesitation, the Players Association stands firmly behind Chris, whose competitiveness may only be exceeded by the strength of his values and his convictions."

ESPN.com's Marc Stein, Arash Markazi and Mike Mazzeo and The Associated Press contributed to this report.