Rudy Gobert: Minnesota Timberwolves center fined $100,000 by NBA for ‘money’ gesture

Rudy Gobert playing NBA basketball

Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert has been fined $100,000 by the NBA for making a money gesture at an official and questioning whether betting is affecting match results.

Gobert was punished for a technical foul late in regulation time before the Timberwolves lost 113-104 to the Cleveland Cavaliers in overtime, having been spotted rubbing his fingers together to suggest outer influences on referee Scott Foster.

“I’ll be the bad guy,” Gobert said afterwards, via ESPN, adding that he would “bite the bullet again”. “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.”

Gobert had been penalised and disqualified for a sixth foul at the time of his gesture, remaining on the floor while Foster headed to the scorer’s table.

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The Cavaliers tied the game because of Gobert’s technical, with the situation later compounded by a fine which NBA executive vice president and head of basketball operations Joe Dumars said reflected the 7ft 1in player’s previous remarks.

Gobert has now been fined four times for criticising officials. Minnesota assistant Micah Nori, who deputised for ill coach Chris Finch, was unimpressed by his behaviour.

Rudy Gobert money gesture ‘unacceptable’

“A technical foul with 27 seconds in the game, to be honest, is unacceptable,” said Nori. “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, the game was caled pretty much the same way. That’s basketball.

“We all know Rudy. There’s no more professional guy than him. In that moment, for him to just do that, he feels awful about it. We’ve got to be a little bit better. We have to be smarter.”

Gobert called his response “the truth”. “But it wasn’t the time to react that way,” he acknowledged. “It cost my team the game. It was an immature reaction.”

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