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NBA Fines Rudy Gobert $100,000 for Gambling-Influenced Gesture

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Minnesota Timberwolves star Rudy Gobert has been fined $100,000 by the NBA for making an inappropriate gesture towards an official and publicly criticizing the officiating during the Friday game in Cleveland.

After fouling out in the last minute of regulation during Minnesota's overtime loss to the Cavaliers, Gobert displayed a money sign toward the officials. The gesture which implied that the referees were fixing the match resulted in a technical foul that enabled Cleveland to even the score through a free throw.

Related: NBA Referee Eric Lewis Bids Farewell amidst Controversy

When Gobert received the technical, the Wolves held a 97-96 lead, but they ultimately lost in overtime 113-104 with him sidelined on the bench. Following the game, the 31-year-old basketball center justified his gesture as expressing "the truth." He hinted at NBA gambling concerns and suggested it might be influencing referees.

I'll bite the bullet again. 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.

Rudy GobertFrench basketball center

Gobert Upholds Money Gesture

Although Gobert admitted he shouldn't have reacted as he did to his sixth foul, he didn't back down from supporting the gesture that resulted in the technical.

"My reaction, which I think is truth — it's what I truly believe — even if it's the truth, it wasn't the time for me to react that way. I should have not done that. I cost my team the game, and obviously, they couldn't wait to give me a tech. That was bad. That was an immature reaction." He added.

Gobert has previously voiced his displeasure with officiating in multiple games this season. According to gambling regulation and the NBA, the $100k fine, which is the maximum amount stipulated for conduct detrimental to the league, “takes into account Gobert’s past instances of conduct detrimental to the NBA with regard to publicly criticizing the officiating.”

NBA Players Doing Money Signs

Players doing the money gestures to suggest referees are being influenced by gambling is becoming a regular occurrence in the NBA. Last month, Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young made the same gesture toward an official during his team’s loss to the Chicago Bulls. He was issued a fine of $35,000.

Young didn’t, however, get a technical for the gesture since the refs didn’t spot it during the game.

In March 2023, Luka Donic received a $35,000 fine for doing the money sign against a referee after a no-call late in the Mavs-Warriors game.

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