Donovan Mitchell was steaming mad after Wednesday’s overtime loss, telling reporters the Utah Jazz “continually get screwed” by officials. His teammate Rudy Gobert jumped into the fray and complained about unfair treatment for a small-market franchise.
Now both players have been fined by the league for their comments. Mitchell was fined $25,000 for public criticism of the officiating, per The Athletic, and Gobert was docked $20,000 for the same offense.
The comments were made on March 3 following their 131-123 defeat to the Philadelphia 76ers. Mitchell was tossed from the game with 30.8 seconds after knocking over a water cooler and picking up his second technical foul.
“There have been games like this that we’ve won, there have been games like this that we’ve lost,” Mitchell said, via the Salt Lake City Tribune. “But this whole refereeing stuff — we’re nice [to them], we don’t complain, we don’t get frustrated, we fight through things. And the fact that we continually get screwed. We won this game in my opinion.”
Gobert agreed with Mitchell, adding an expletive to the mix.
“I feel like a lot of guys are able to do the things that we’re not able to do, and our guys are not able to get some calls that everybody else in the (expletive) league gets,” Gobert said. “We know that we are the Utah Jazz and we know maybe some people don’t want to see us go as far as I believe that we can go, but it’s disappointing.”
League Admits to Missing Sixers-Jazz Calls
Meanwhile, the league admitted to getting six calls incorrect. The NBA’s “Last Two Minute (L2M) Report” was released on Thursday and detailed 50 separate incidents from the last two minutes of the fourth quarter and the overtime period, according to the Deseret News. The biggest non-call was a missed arm slap by Joel Embiid that would have sent Mitchell to the free-throw line with about 40 seconds left.
Mitchell also re-tweeted a video of an offensive charge called on him versus Ben Simmons. The refs ruled that “Mitchell wrapped his arm around Simmons’ leg” on the drive. You be the judge.
Embiid Trolls Mitchell, Gobert After Victory
As far as the Sixers are concerned, it’s just a case of a losing team crying sour grapes. Embiid stoked the flames in the overtime period when Gobert was called for a foul on the Sixers big man and then urged the refs to call a technical on Mitchell for his reaction.
The plan worked beautifully and Mitchell was thrown out of the game after being tagged with his second technical foul. Embiid has truly mastered the art of gamesmanship.
“But going up against him [Gobert], one of my goals is to also be Defensive Player of the Year,” Embiid told reporters, via ESPN. “So, you know, when you go up against those types of guys, he’s a great player, and you know, he does a lot for his team that don’t show up on the stat sheet … but when you go against those guys, you know, it brings something else to my game.”