Rudy Gobert did not have a very productive Thursday night on the floor in Salt Lake City. He was called for fouls early, then was ejected from Utah’s game against the Houston Rockets with enough time left for him to go get some reps in the weight room in while the game was still going on.
Gobert’s night was admittedly strange, as not many players can get ejected just three minutes into the game, and at least one former NBA player noticed something was amiss. On Friday morning, Richard Jefferson was on ESPN and had a lot to say about what happened to Gobert.
Jefferson was not happy with the officials that ejected Gobert on Thursday night and was highly critical of the way officials treat players after they’ve been reprimanded by the league.
“The referees, they kind of work together. They take things personal. When you get fined you go ‘Hey look, I might not get a call for a couple of weeks,’” Jefferson said. “But this right here — I met with Adam Silver and one of the things I talked about with him is officiating. Officiating is better this year than it was last year.”
Jefferson, if you can’t tell, is trying very, very hard not to say that he thinks the whole situation was messed up.
“You can’t have that. As a player, you can’t have a referee call a foul one second into a game on a jump ball,” Jefferson said. “Show me another time that this has happened to start the game. How many times has this happened to start the game and it just happens to be on a play where a guy got fined?”
It’s a good point, really. Jefferson knows how players are treated by officials once a history has been established. There are few sports where officials and players get into it more than basketball, and those relationships are starting to change. But Jefferson clearly thinks Gobert got a raw deal on Thursday night.