Rudy Gobert Fined $100K for Wild Comments on NBA Referees


Rudy Gobert has been fined four times the usual amount for his criticism of the NBA’s referees in the  Timberwolves’ 113-104 overtime loss against the Cavaliers on March 8.

Gobert has a fairly lengthy history of openly criticizing the officials, but this time it was his gesture during the game and his comments afterwards that prompted the NBA to issue such a large fine to the Minnesota big man.

The league detailed the fine was specifically for “for directing an inappropriate and unprofessional gesture toward a game official, and publicly criticizing the officiating… The fine takes into account Gobert’s past instances of conduct detrimental to the NBA with regard to publicly criticizing the officiating.”

In the dying second of regulation on Friday night, Gobert was called for a tech foul and then rubbed his fingers together to gesture ‘money’ and imply referee Scott Foster was being paid off.

He made the gesture as he recorded his sixth foul of the night and as Foster was headed to the scorers table, so he didn’t actually see.

Official Natalie Sago did see and issued the technical for Gobert’s actions.

He followed up his actions with some comments postgame.

“I’ll bite the bullet again,” Gobert said Friday night. “I’ll be the bad guy. I’ll take the fine, but I think it’s hurting our game. I know the betting and all that is becoming bigger and bigger, but it shouldn’t feel that way.”

Wolves assistant Micah Nori, who was filling in when Timberwolves coach Chris Finch, didn’t approve of Gobert’s behavior at all.

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“A technical foul with 27 seconds in the game, to be honest, is unacceptable,” Nori said. “That’s who Rudy is, but you’ve got to be smart. He made a visual that was automatic. He was obviously frustrated — both teams were — but we have to be smarter.”

Gobert admitted it wasn’t the right reaction to the call,” “My reaction, which I think was the truth, but it wasn’t the time to react that way. It cost my team the game. It was an immature reaction.”

The fine marks the fourth time the center has been fined for the league for comments about the refs.

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