Rudy Gobert became the latest NBA star to questions the referees’ integrity when he unleashed an explosive tirade on the officials after Thursday’s 100-107 loss to the Phoenix Suns.
“It’s bullsh*t, it’s bullsh*t,” Gobert said after Phoenix went to the free throw line 27 times to Minnesota’s 12. “It’s not fair. It’s really not fair. Every night.
“I’ve been in this league for 10 years and I try to always give the benefit of the doubt, but it’s hard for me to think [referees] are not trying to help [the Suns] win tonight. It’s hard for me to think they didn’t try to help the [reigning champion Golden State] Warriors win the other night or the Sacramento Kings the other night.
“It’s just so obvious. As a basketball player that’s been in this league for so long, it’s disrespectful, and it sucks, to be honest. We work so hard to be in a position to compete with the best and we just get manipulated into those situations where it just impacts the game for the other team too much. They know how to do it. They do it a lot of different ways. Tonight was another way of doing it.”
Gobert went on to suggest the officiating stemmed from the NBA wanting bigger market teams with more star power in the playoffs ahead of Minnesota.
“We understand that it’s also a business,” Gobert said. “Unfortunately. It’s sad, but it’s good also. It’s really good. But it’s true. We understand that we’re not the biggest of the markets. I think you want to see (Durant) in the playoffs, Steph in the playoffs, you want to see LeBron in the playoffs. The Timberwolves are not there yet. We got to keep putting our head down, keep playing through that, and it’s frustrating for sure, especially for me.”
The 39-38 Timberwolves now sit one game behind the Warriors for the last guaranteed playoff spot.
If the regular season ended today, Minnesota would face the Lakers in the play-in.