Rudy Gobert, the center for the Minnesota Timberwolves, was given a one-game suspension by the team on Monday and will not be able to play in the first game of the AT&T Play-In Tournament for the Timberwolves. Gobert will be available to play regardless of whether or not the Wolves advance to the Western Conference playoffs or lose to the Lakers in the Play-In game.
During a timeout in the second quarter of Sunday’s game against New Orleans, Gobert punched his teammate Kyle Anderson. New Orleans was the opponent. During a timeout, as the squad was huddled together, he appeared to hit Anderson in the chest with his hand by raising his arm toward him and making what looked like a punching motion. Coaches and other players separated the two, and Gobert was taken to the locker room.
Following the event, Anderson stated, “I think tempers just flared.” “And that’s it.”
Anderson stated that he didn’t believe he would have any problems getting along with them going ahead.
“We want to win games,” you said. It is what it is. Period. “It ain’t the first time someone’s swung on me,” he claimed. “I’ve been hit before.”
Following the incident in the second quarter, the President of Basketball Operations for the Timberwolves, Tim Connelly, issued a statement that confirmed the team’s decision to bench Gobert:
After the event that occurred during the second quarter, we concluded that it was best to send Rudy Gobert back to the locker room. It was unacceptable for him to behave in that manner on the bench, and we will continue to handle the problem internally.
The Timberwolves finished in eighth place in the Western Conference after defeating the Pelicans by a score of 113-108. As a result of this victory, the Timberwolves moved above the Pelicans in the standings and earned a game against the Los Angeles Lakers in the play-in tournament. Due to their lackluster performance in the first half, they were doomed to a defeat and a lower seed.
After Anthony Edwards attempted a step-back 3-pointer that was unsuccessful, Brandon Ingram of the Pelicans raced the other way for a slam that gave his team a 48-36 lead. This caused the Wolves’ head coach, Chris Finch, to call a timeout with 4 minutes and 23 seconds left before the halftime break.
Gobert and Anderson were having a furious discussion over one of the many sequences that had gone wrong up to that moment. Anderson is a fiery but respected leader who has given the Wolves a major lift this season with his flexibility and experience in his first season with the team.
After that, Gobert put an end to the disagreement by raising his arm in an attempt to strike Anderson. The two were pulled apart, and Gobert returned to the locker room.
Before the halftime break, the Wolves announced that Gobert and defensive ace Jaden McDaniels would not play in the second half of the game. It turned out that McDaniels had been frustrated during the first quarter and banged his hand on a wall in the tunnel that goes to the locker room. As a result, he did not return to the game.