Rudy Gobert Hints At Sports Betting Influencing Referees In The NBA

Rudy Gobert saw his Friday night come to a premature end. During the waning moments of the Minnesota Timberwolves’ game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Gobert got called for a technical foul after he made a money gesture towards a referee — it was his sixth foul of the game. This let Cleveland get the one point it needed to force overtime, and in the extra period, the Cavs rolled en route to a 113-104 win.

It was a tough loss for the Timberwolves, which really need Gobert as it is navigating a stretch without the services of Karl-Anthony Towns. And after the game, Gobert spoke to the media about his ejection, and even though he conceded it was “bad” and “immature” of him to react the way he did, he also touched on something that he believes is “hurting our game”: the influence of sports betting.

Via The Athletic:

Asked to clarify what he believes, Gobert said: “I made some mistakes. I airballed a dunk. Mistakes happen. Referees make mistakes, too. But sometimes I think it’s more than mistakes. I think everyone that’s in this league knows. I think it’s got to get better.”

“I know the betting and all that is becoming bigger and bigger, but it shouldn’t feel that way,” Gobert said.

Gobert should probably expect a pretty hefty fine here, as the NBA is not going to like a player saying that we have another Tim Donaghy situation going on. We’ll see if he dives into this stuff any further the next time someone puts a microphone in front of him, because it’s a pretty safe bet that if Gobert gets asked again, he’ll happily answer.