NBA Star Rudy Gobert Fined $100k After Insinuating That Bettors Influence Referees

  • Gobert made a money gesture with his hands after being called for a foul
  • He said after the game that bettors can influence the officiating
  • It is the fourth time that he has been fined for criticizing officials
Rudy Gobert
NBA star Rudy Gobert has been fined $100,000 for claiming that sports bettors can influence officiating decisions. [Image:]

Costing his team

Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert has been fined $100,000 for saying that sports betting is influencing referees. NBA Executive Vice President and Head of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced the penalty for the Frenchman on Sunday for “directing an inappropriate and unprofessional gesture toward a game official” and publicly criticizing them:

Gobert was playing against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday when he made a money signal with both hands and pointed toward referee Scott Foster after receiving his sixth foul in the waning moments of the game, leading to his disqualification:

Cleveland tied the game on the resulting free throw with just seconds remaining and went on to win in overtime 113-104. With the money signal, Gobert implied that the referee was on the take. Foster had close links to disgraced former NBA referee Tim Donaghy, who bet on games and passed information to gamblers.

Doubling down

After the game, Gobert acknowledged that making the money signal was a mistake and that he cost his team. He did not back down from his opinion, however, accepting the inevitable fine and saying that he believes that betting is hurting the sport.

Gobert played with the Utah Jazz for nine seasons before being traded to the Timberwolves in 2022. The 7-foot-1 center is a three-time All-Star and three-time Defensive Player of the Year.

“I’ll bite the bullet again,” Gobert said after the game. “I’ll be the bad guy. I’ll take the fine, but I think it’s hurting our game. I know the betting and all that is becoming bigger and bigger, but it shouldn’t feel that way.”

Not his first rodeo

Gobert has a track record of publicly criticizing officials, which was taken into consideration when the NBA decided on the size of the punishment. He has been fined three other times for slamming officials, the last of which resulted in a $25,000 penalty in 2023.

A typical fine for this type of offense is somewhere between $10,000 and $30,000. The six-figure penalty is the biggest so far this season without the player also having to serve a suspension. While Gobert was eligible to suit up on Sunday night against the Los Angeles Lakers, he was a late addition to his team’s injury list due to a tight hamstring.

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