The NBA hits hard. If he can be satisfied with not having been suspended, Rudy Gobert receives a fine of 100,000 dollars from the North American league. And this following his virulent criticism of the referees during and after Minnesota’s defeat against Cleveland (113-104) on Friday. The pivot of the France team and the Timberwolves had indeed suggested that one of the officials had been bought, before letting his anger speak in front of the media… and making his mea culpa: “It cost the victory to my team, it was an immature reaction, everyone can make mistakes.” A $100,000 mistake, then. The NBA retained “an inappropriate and unprofessional gesture towards an official”, as we can read in a press release this Sunday, and the fact of having “publicly criticized the referee. The fine takes into account Gobert’s past instances of conduct detrimental to the NBA regarding public criticism of referees.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are in second place in the Western Conference (44 wins, 20 losses), just behind Oklahoma City (44 wins, 19 losses). Gobert, 31, is in his second season in Twin Cities, averaging 13.8 points, 12.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks. He is the big favorite for the title of best defender of the season. It would be his fourth trophy, and it would be unheard of in NBA history.