Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert has been fined $25,000 for his recent rant blasting the NBA's officials and how the Wolves are treated compared to other teams. Meanwhile, Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch has also been fined $15,000 for his own criticism of the NBA's officiating.
Gobert and Finch made their comments following the Timberwolves’ 107-100 loss to the Phoenix Suns on March 29 at Footprint Center.
"It's not fair. It's really not fair," Gobert said after Wednesday's game. "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 they're not trying to help [the Suns] win tonight. It's hard for me to think they didn't try to help the 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."
Gobert accused the NBA of trying to ensure that certain stars qualify for the postseason.
"We understand that we're not the biggest of the markets and we're a team that – I think you want to see KD (Kevin Durant) in the playoffs, Steph [Curry] in the playoffs, you want to see LeBron [James] in the playoffs. The Timberwolves are not there yet."
"The biggest markets were always top of the (free-throw) list, but it's probably a coincidence," Gobert added sarcastically, with a smile.
Finch held back more than Gobert, but he did criticize the free-throw discrepancy in Wednesday's game against the Suns and hint that the refs helped Phoenix out after head coach Monty Williams' recent remarks about how the Suns were being officiated (which led to a $20,000 fine of his own).
“It works because tonight they went to the line 27 times and we went to the line 12 times. Sitting up here and talking about it or whatever must have worked for them,” Finch said after the loss to the Suns. “Because this is a team that doesn’t historically draw fouls at the rate they did.”
The Timberwolves have reportedly been frustrated about how they've been officiated for much of the season and it just happened to come to a head on Wednesday.