Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert hasn’t been working and playing with others very well lately. Unfortunately, that behavior extended to one of his teammates on Sunday.
Forgetting all the values of the Easter holiday, Gobert let a fist fly in the team huddle during the first half of his team’s 113-108 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. It was aimed at forward Kyle Anderson, but it was a glancing blow. However, it sent the group into chaos as the scuffle ensued.
Timberwolves forward Taurean Prince immediately shoved Gobert in defense of Anderson. Shortly thereafter Gobert was escorted off the court, and Minnesota announced after halftime that he would not return for the remainder of the game. It was an embarrassing spectacle for the Wolves (42-40 in the regular season), who followed up that effort with a loss to the Lakers in their play-in game on Tuesday.
Rudy Gobert was held out of the loss to LA as punishment for his actions. For his part, the veteran post player did make a public apology, saying that he was wrong for the outburst.
“Emotions got the best of me today,” Gobert posted on Twitter. “I should not have reacted the way i did regardless of what was said. I wanna apologize to the fans, the organisation and particularly to Kyle, who is someone that i truly love and respect as a teammate.”
Rudy Gobert is a three-time NBA All-Star and a three-time Defensive Player of the Year. At 30 years of age and with his international experience, he’s considered one of the leaders of the Timberwolves.
Known as one of the great contributors in the league, he’s often doing the dirty work that flashier players sometimes eschew. That’s why this was such a troubling set of circumstances for a team that’s hoping to make some noise in the postseason.
In a statement representing the franchise, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly commented that Gobert’s behavior was “unacceptable.”
“We will continue handling the situation internally,” he added.
Rudy Gobert played professionally in France from 2011-13, before joining the Utah Jazz. The 7-foot-1 big man was traded to the T-Wolves in June 2022 in a massive deal for Patrick Beverley, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro, and the rights to center Walker Kessler, in addition to four first-round picks.
The Timberwolves are scheduled to continue play on Friday against the Oklahoma City Thunder. If Minnesota can advance, they would take on the Denver Nuggets next.