Rudy Gobert barely made it three minutes into the first quarter before being ejected on Thursday night.
The Utah Jazz center got two quick fouls early in the game at home against the Rockets, and as he was subbing out for backup Derrick Favors, smacked a water bottle off of the scorer’s table and yelled at the refs.
Gobert, the reigning defensive player of the year, was ejected by referee Courtney Kirkland for the outburst. He was reacting to having been called for a foul on the opening tip, and for falling victim to one of James Harden’s notorious “flops”.
This comes on the heels of Gobert being fined $15,000 by the league for his incendiary comments after Sunday night’s loss to Miami, where Donovan Mitchell was banged up at the rim in the final seconds of the game with no call, only for Dwayne Wade to get a call and sink the free throws at the other end on an almost identical play.
I just want it to be consistent, at one point,” Gobert told reporters after the game. “Every night is the same s—. Every night has been the same s—. If you call something one way, you have to call it the other way. Once they start doing that, I’m going to have a little more respect. I’m just tired of it. Every game is the same.”
The Jazz and Rockets are Neck & Neck in the Western Conference
This game between the Jazz and Rockets matters for both teams, who are each grappling for a hold to pull themselves out of the bottom five teams in the Western Conference. The Rockets are currently 11-12 and in 13th place, and the Jazz are just one spot about with their 12-13 record.
Both teams expected to be doing much better by now, and the Rockets are the team that knocked the Jazz out of their promising playoff run last season. There’s beef between these two teams, and their close (and dismal) standings makes things all the more volatile.