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Dave McMenamin, ESPN Staff WriterMay 14, 2024, 12:42 PM ETCloseLakers and NBA reporter for ESPN.
Covered the Lakers and NBA for ESPNLosAngeles.com from 2009-14, the Cavaliers from 2014-18 for ESPN.com and the NBA for NBA.com from 2005-09.DENVER — Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert was fined $75,000 for rubbing his fingers together in a money-sign gesture directed at the officials during Game 4 of the Wolves’ second-round series with the Denver Nuggets, the league announced Tuesday.Joe Dumars, executive vice president and head of basketball operations for the NBA, deemed Gobert’s actions an “unprofessional gesture that questions the integrity of the league and its game officials” and also said in a statement that the fine “takes into account Gobert’s history of improper conduct toward game officials.”Gobert took the fine in stride when asked about the NBA’s penalty.”Not surprised,” Gobert said after Tuesday’s shootaround. “Not surprised.”Gobert also explained the reason for the gesture he made.Editor’s Picks1 Related”There was no message,” Gobert said. “Just emotions. I got to control my emotions. It was a very physical game, an emotional game. So I got to control my emotions.”Wolves coach Chris Finch said he understands Gobert’s frustration with the officiating during his pregame remarks on Tuesday, adding that the reigning Defensive Player of the Year has to deal with a lot of physicality that goes uncalled.Finch then expressed his own frustration with Gobert’s fine by alluding to the inconsistency in the league’s punishment of Nuggets guard Jamal Murray’s after Game 2 — Murray made a money gesture, threw a towel on the floor and threw a heating pad on the floor and it cost him $100,000.”I’d like to see the itemized receipt [for Murray],” Finch said. “Because if it’s $75,000 for the money gesture then it must be $10,000 for the towel and $15,000 for the heating pad?”So it’s just kind of a little bit of a head scratcher to us.”Gobert was fined $100,000 earlier this season for making a similar gesture toward referee Scott Foster.After that instance, which occurred during a 113-104 overtime loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in March, Gobert alluded to the league’s gambling partnerships compromising the competition.”I’ll bite the bullet again,” Gobert told reporters. “I’ll be the bad guy. I’ll take the fine, but I think it’s hurting our game. I know the betting and all that is becoming bigger and bigger, but it shouldn’t feel that way.”The Wolves and Nuggets are tied 2-2 in their Western Conference semifinals series heading into Tuesday’s Game 5.Gobert is averaging 7.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in three games in the series.ESPN’s Tim MacMahon contributed to this report.

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