In the final game of the season, the Timberwolves’ center Rudy Gobert got into a fight with teammate Kyle Anderson.
The Minnesota Timberwolves announced on Monday that center Rudy Gobert will be banned for the team’s opening game of the AT&T Play-In Tournament. If the Wolves lose the Play-In to the Lakers or if they make the Western Conference playoffs, Rudy Gobert will be available to play.
NEWS: The Minnesota @Timberwolves today announced the team has suspended center Rudy Gobert for one game following yesterday’s incident.
Full release: https://t.co/YFuVmjTvhO
— Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) April 10, 2023
Gobert will serve a one-game suspension and is expected to return if the Wolves lose to the Lakers and play another play-in game, or advance into the Western Conference playoffs, sources said. https://t.co/JMSdwm7P2o
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 10, 2023
Gobert punched teammate Kyle Anderson
During a break in the second quarter on Sunday’s game against New Orleans. When the team was in a huddle for a timeout, he looked to slap Anderson in the chest with his hand after raising his arm toward him. Gobert was taken to the locker room after being separated from his teammate by coaches and teammates.
The incident caused “a fury to flash,” as Anderson put it later. And that’s it!
Anderson said there would be no future tension between them.
“Our goal is to win ballgames. What happens, happens. Someone swung at me, and it wasn’t the first time,” he reflected.
Emotions got the best of me today. I should not have reacted the way i did regardless of what was said. I wanna apologize to the fans, the organisation and particularly to Kyle, who is someone that i truly love and respect as a teammate.
— Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) April 10, 2023
The decision to bench Gobert following the incident in the second quarter was confirmed by a statement from Timberwolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly.
We made the decision to send Rudy Gobert home after the incident in the second quarter. His behavior on the bench was unacceptable and we will continue handling the situation internally.
The 113-108 victory over the Pelicans gave the Timberwolves the eighth seed in the Western Conference and a play-in game against the Los Angeles Lakers. Without a spark in the second half, they were doomed to defeat and the losing seed.
Chris Finch of the Timberwolves called timeout with 4:23 left in the half after Anthony Edwards’ missed step-back 3-pointer
The Pelicans then quickly went the opposite way, where Brandon Ingram dunked the ball to give his team a 48-36 lead.
Anderson, a feisty but respected captain who has helped the Wolves greatly with his flexibility and experience in his first season with the team, got into an argument with Gobert about one of the numerous unfortunate sequences that had occurred up to that moment.
While Gobert and Anderson were being separated and Gobert was being led back to the locker room, Gobert put a stop to the altercation by lifting his arm to hit Anderson.
Rudy Gobert is OUT for the remainder of tonight's game.
— Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) April 9, 2023
Both Gobert and defensive stud Jaden McDaniels were benched by the Wolves at halftime. Turns out McDaniels was frustrated in the first quarter and smashed his hand on the wall in the tunnel leading to the locker room on the way out.