A freak out with consequences: French basketball star Rudy Gobert lost his nerve at the NBA season finale and hit his own teammate Kyle Anderson.
Gobert was not allowed to continue the game of the Minnesota Timberwolves against the New Orleans Pelicans (113:108). He was suspended by his club for Tuesday’s play-in match against the Los Angeles Lakers.
After the game, Gobert apologised. “I was overwhelmed by emotion today. I shouldn’t have reacted the way I did, regardless of what was said,” he wrote on Twitter: “I want to apologize to the fans, the organization and especially Kyle , who I really love and respect as a teammate.”
Gobert, who moved to Minnesota from the Utah Jazz in the summer of 2022, initially had a battle of words with Anderson at the end of the second quarter, then he struck – over the head of his coach Chris Finch. “Even veterans can get upset, so I don’t want to be too hard on him,” said the coach, “but of course we can’t tolerate that.”
Not a good prospect for the Timberwolves
Meanwhile, Anderson did not want to dramatize the incident. “We all want to win,” he said, “perhaps we weren’t on the same wavelength at the moment. Tempers were heated, we were in the middle of a game that we wanted to win, a really important one. It is what it is . Shit happens.”
Not only with Gobert and Anderson: Teammate Jaden McDaniels also struck on Sunday: frustrated against a wall – and, according to media reports, broke his right hand.
Not good prospects for the duel against the Lakers. But even with a loss, Minnesota still has a chance of making the playoffs, then in the knockout game against the New Orleans Pelicans or the Oklahoma City Thunder.