Rudy Gobert returned to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday after serving a suspension issued by the organization for the first Play-In game they participated in; however, ongoing back pain has made it unlikely that he will participate in the second Play-In game.
Gobert was kicked out of the arena after throwing a punch at teammate Kyle Anderson after an altercation in the huddle during a stoppage in the second quarter of Minnesota’s final regular-season game on Sunday. The incident occurred in the huddle during a timeout in the second quarter of the game. On Tuesday, the Wolves lost 108-102 in overtime to the Lakers after blowing a 15-point lead and were given the punishment of keeping him at home for their trip to Los Angeles to play the Lakers.
In his first interview with the media since the altercation that took place in public, which took place on Thursday, Gobert stated that it was highly unlikely that he would have been well enough to play against the Lakers. Hopefully, he will be able to play on Friday when the Wolves take on Oklahoma City at home in their final chance to make the playoffs; however, this is optional.
Gobert, who has won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award three times, stated that he is “still pretty sore” and that he is “still not moving like I would like to be able to move” but that he is “making tiny progress every day.”
The Wolves claimed that the situation had been resolved for quite some time before Gobert joined them on the court on Thursday.
“We both apologized to one other, and at this point, you should just move on. “Well, that’s just how life is,” Gobert answered. “It’s different when you have millions of people all watching videos and having an opinion on things that happened but that we can’t control,” she said. “It’s different when you have millions of people watching films.” What we can influence, though, is the level of respect we have for one another and our connection.
In interviews conducted after the game on Sunday and Tuesday, Anderson expressed the same attitude both times before the Wolves played the Lakers.
“I still love Kyle. He continues to be my brother. When people ask about it, I tell them, “Sometimes you argue with your family. Sometimes you get into arguments with individuals you care deeply about and respect greatly,'” said Gobert. “Such is life. Nobody is without flaws. When you make a mistake, you learn from it, and then you go on.
Gobert, a 7-foot-1 product of France acquired by the Wolves in a trade with Utah during the summer of 2018, has had a disappointing start to his career in Minnesota. The Wolves paid a costly price in players and first-round draft picks to get Gobert. He has needed help integrating himself into the offense alongside Karl-Anthony Towns as a second big man and getting on the same page as the guards.
In the game in which Gobert struck Anderson in the upper chest, Jaden McDaniels, a starting player for the Wolves, punched a wall in the tunnel near the bench out of irritation, breaking his hand in the process. As a result, the Wolves will need at least one starter for the next game. Due to a broken wrist, one of their top reserves, Naz Reid, is currently sidelined.
Gobert said, “Our objective was to be at the top of the Western Conference.” “But, you will have difficulties, and things will not go as you had hoped for them to go; unfortunately, this is an inevitable part of life.”
When Gobert lost his cool during Sunday’s game against New Orleans, he was already considered to have a questionable status because of his back injury. Thursday’s workout prompted comments from Coach Chris Finch that he appeared “a touch tight.”
Finch responded by saying, “We’ll keep working on it.”
Will Gobert be in the game?
“I certainly do. “I truly have no idea,” Finch responded. “But, we haven’t completely written him off.”