Timberwolves’ Rudy Gobert fined $75,000 for money-signing gesture

DENVER — Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert was fined $75,000 for rubbing his fingers in a money gesture to officials during Game 4 of the Wolves’ second-round series against the Denver Nuggets, the league announced Tuesday.

Joe Dumars, executive vice president and head of basketball operations for the NBA, called Gobert’s actions “an unprofessional gesture that calls into question the integrity of the league and its game officials” and also said in a statement that the fine “takes into account Gobert’s basketball history.” inappropriate conduct towards match officials.

Gobert accepted the fine without hesitation when asked about the NBA penalty.

“Not surprised,” Gobert said after Tuesday’s shooting. “Not surprised.”

Gobert also explained the reason for his action.

“There was no message,” Gobert said. “Just emotions. I had to control my emotions. It was a very physical game, an emotional game. So I had to control my emotions.”

Wolves coach Chris Finch said he understood Gobert’s frustration with the officiating during his pregame remarks Tuesday, adding that the reigning Defensive Player of the Year must deal with many physical aspects that are not called out.

Finch then expressed his own frustration with Gobert’s fine by alluding to the inconsistency in the league’s punishment of Nuggets guard Jamal Murray after Game 2 – Murray made a money gesture, threw a towel on the floor and threw a heating pad on the floor and it cost him $100,000.

“I would like to see the itemized receipt (for Murray),” Finch said. “Because if the monetary gesture costs $75,000, it must be $10,000 for the towel and $15,000 for the heating pad?

“So it’s just a little headache for us.”

Gobert was fined $100,000 earlier this season for making a similar gesture toward referee Scott Foster.

After that incident, which occurred during a 113-104 overtime loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in March, Gobert alluded to the league’s playing partnerships jeopardizing competition.

“I’m going to bite the bullet again,” Gobert told reporters. “I’ll be the bad guy. I’ll take the fine, but I think it hurts our game. I know the betting and everything else is getting bigger and bigger, but that shouldn’t be the case.”

The Wolves and Nuggets are tied 2-2 in their Western Conference semifinal series heading into Tuesday’s Game 5.

Gobert is averaging 7.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in three games in the series.

ESPN’s Tim MacMahon contributed to this report.

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