March 5 (UPI) — The NBA fined Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell and center Rudy Gobert on Friday, two days after the pair of teammates criticized the officiating in Wednesday’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
NBA executive vice president Kiki VanDeWeghe said in a statement that Mitchell, who also was disciplined for his conduct while exiting the court, was docked $ 25,000. Gobert was handed a $ 20,000 fine.
Following Wednesday’s game, Mitchell — who was ejected after being given technical fouls on two separate plays in the last minute of overtime — told reporters he was tired of the Jazz getting “screwed” by the referees. He called the way his team’s games are officiated “[expletive] ridiculous.”
As he was leaving the court, Mitchell smashed a water cooler to the floor, an action described by VanDeWeghe as “reckless.” Mitchell then appeared to apologize to a security guard who was sitting near the water cooler as he went to the locker room.
Gobert joined Mitchell in criticizing the officials after Wednesday’s loss, which resulted in his fine.
“Our guys are not able to get calls everybody else in the [expletive] league gets,” Gobert said. “We know we are the Utah Jazz, and maybe some people don’t want to see us go as far as we can go, but it’s disappointing.
“Three times in a row, Mike Conley is going to the rim, and they’re grabbing him right in front of the officials, and there’s no calls. And on the other end, there are calls that are invisible that are being made.”
The Jazz have the best record in the NBA at the All-Star break. Utah is first in the Western Conference with a 27-9 record.