After a tussle with Myles Turner, Rudy Gobert got in the The Utah Jazz lost to the Indiana Pacers made it clear that he is not afraid of Turner. “If someone wants to fight, I’m easy to contact,” said Gobert after the game.
With a lead of 11 points and just under four minutes to play, Turner blocked Gobert’s attempt at dunking from behind, as it fell, Gobert pulled the Pacers Center with him to the ground. Gobert would have liked to get a foul whistle on the block, but did not deny that he then fouled Turner. “He fouled me, I somehow fell over and pulled him down. It was a foul, I fouled him,” said Gobert after the game.
“Then he got up and pushed me in the back or something. Nothing more happened after that,” explained Gobert. In fact, Gobert hadn’t really responded with a counterattack, instead he hugged Turner in both arms and seemed to try to bring Turner to the ground. Before that could happen, the two giants were separated from teammates and coaches.
According to him, Gobert never intended to use his fists to fight Turner. “First of all we both know that we will not fight. Players have to stop pretending to fight. We know that in 2 seconds there will be 20 security guards between us,” explained Gobert and added: “The Players know it’s good for the cameras, but they know we won’t fight. Guys who don’t live the hard life should stop pretending to be anyone. “
Gobert is obviously not entirely inexperienced in martial arts: “It’s funny, my boxing coach was at the game today, for the first time this year. But if I don’t feel threatened, I won’t strike,” said the Frenchman and made it clear: “And I didn’t feel threatened. If someone wants to fight, I’m easy to contact. If someone has a problem, I won’t get over it Twitter or WhatsApp rules.”
Mitchell takes referees accountable
Gobert does not expect a suspension for one or more games in the future: “I don’t think I should be suspended. A technical foul was appropriate, but I just grabbed him and made sure he couldn’t do anything. Then I did waited what happens. ” He emphasized again: “Players have to stop pretending to want to go to war. Just play basketball.”
While several players from both teams intervened in the short tussle, in addition to the two centers, only Joe Ingles and Donovan Mitchell were expelled from the game. In the NBA’s official post-game report the chief of the referee crew, Ed Malloy, explained that the two jazz players “were instigators and caused the situation to escalate”. Ingles also came into contact with a referee, which was considered unintentional.
Mitchell demanded a tougher line from the referees after the game, which, in his opinion, could have prevented the argument. “We got to a point where the referees are losing control of the game. Draw a line early instead of letting this shit build up.” Mitchell had the impression that the referees allowed too much contact early in the game and that this caused frustration on both sides.
Mitchell also stated that the referees had agreed at half time that some whistles were wrong. The admitted mistakes didn’t help him at this point in the game, he added.
The Pacers won the game against the Jazz 111-100, making the Jazz lose for the first time this season in Utah. 23 fouls were called against Indiana and 16 against Utah. A total of 18 fouls were called in the first half and 21 fouls were called in the second half.