Minnesota Timberwolves Star Fined Over Officiating Rant

Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert joined the growing chorus of players dissatisfied with the state of officiating in the NBA earlier this week, and the powers at be didn't take it lightly. The NBA announced a $25,000 fine for Gobert as well as a $15,000 fine for head coach Chris Finch. Gobert unleashed a scathing critique of officials following a 107-100 defeat at the hands of the Phoenix Suns Wednesday night, accusing refs of bias against Minnesota for being a small market and disrespect for the Timberwolves' relatively low-wattage stars:

Gobert is hardly the first player to come out swinging against officiating this season. Toronto Raptors guard Fred Van Vleet torched officials in early March, going as far as to single out crew chief Ben Taylor, who was briefly demoted.

The NBA is in a tricky spot regarding its officiating. Clearly, players are feeling increasingly empowered to express their frustrations. But by continuing to question the credibility of officials, the players are undermining the credibility of the game. However, bullying players into silence or complicity with more significant penalties would hardly go over well.

If the NBA wants to avoid a crisis of confidence from its players and fans, it must restore trust in its officiating. Gobert probably isn't the player to inspire fans or players to a league-wide revolt, but it won't be long before more popular players with more prominent platforms begin voicing their disgust. 

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