NEW YORK – Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert was fined $25,000 and T-Wolves head coach Chris Finch was fined $15,000 by the NBA on Friday for criticizing officials.
Gobert and Finch made their comments to reporters after Minnesota’s 107-100 loss at Phoenix on Wednesday.
“It’s really not fair,” Gobert said of officiating calls, which sent the Suns to the free throw line 27 times to only 12 for Minnesota.
“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.”
The 30-year-old French 7-footer (2.16m) launched his tirade after being whistled for five fouls.
Finch supported Gobert in complaining about some of the calls against the big man for moving while opponent screenings.
Gobert, a three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and last season’s top NBA rebounder, played nine seasons for the Utah Jazz before joining the Timberwolves this season.
“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,” Gobert added.
Gobert hinted that the desire to have stars like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry in the playoffs leads to calls that help teams beat the T-Wolves to help make that possible.
“We understand that it’s also a business,” Gobert said. “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.”
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