Utah Jazz All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell and All-Star center Rudy Gobert have been fined $25,000 and $20,000, respectively, by the NBA.
Mitchell was fined for “public criticism of the officiating and his conduct while exiting the playing court” while Gobert was fined for “public criticism of the officiating,” the league announced.
Mitchell, who received two technical fouls and was ejected from the game with 30.8 seconds remaining, knocked over a water cooler as he left the court.
Both players made their comments following the Jazz’s 131-123 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on March 3.
“It’s tough to go out there and see how we fight and compete, and to have a game like that taken from us,” Mitchell said, after praising the 76ers for their performance. “Now, I’m never ever one to blame a ref, to blame an official – I can say I could have done more – but this is getting out of hand. There have been games like this that we’ve won; there have been games like this that we’ve lost. But this whole refereeing stuff. … We’re nice, we don’t complain, we don’t get frustrated, we fight through things, and the fact (is) that we continually get … screwed, in a way, by this.”
Mitchell continued, “We won this game, in my personal opinion. You know? But like I said, I’m going to give them credit. They won. Whatever. Cool. But it’s been a consistent thing, and the question is, ‘Can we do it? Can we sustain it? Are we for real No. 1?’ And, yeah, the hell we are. And it’s getting f—ing ridiculous that this is what is happening.”
“Our guys are not able to get calls everybody else in the f—ing league gets,” said Gobert. “We know we are the Utah Jazz, and maybe some people don’t want to see us go as far as we can go, but it’s disappointing. Three times in a row, Mike Conley is going to the rim, and they’re grabbing him right in front of the officials, and there’s no calls. And on the other end, there are calls that are invisible that are being made.”
Gobert continued, “I don’t want to say that, but I really believe it. … That’s why I told the guys: ‘When you’re a small market, you’ve got to be better than just better. You’ve got to be elite, and you’ve got to control what you can control.'”