Rudy Gobert Punched Kyle Anderson During An Argument On The Wolves Bench In A Timeout

The Minnesota Timberwolves entered Sunday’s game with the Pelicans guaranteed a play-in spot, but trailing New Orleans and the Lakers by just a game, it was possible to move into the 7-8 game that gives you two cracks at a playoff spot.

As such, it was a big game and, if nothing else, a tune-up for the play-in tournament this week against a potential foe, and tensions were high in Minnesota, as evidenced by a second quarter altercation on the Minnesota bench. Kyle Anderson and Rudy Gobert were going at each other with the Wolves trailing, with both yelling and gesturing at each other but things escalated when Gobert stepped forward and tossed a punch at Anderson’s chest, leading to some chaos as the rest of the team tried to separate the two, with Gobert being escorted back to the locker room.

We won’t know the details of what they were arguing about until after the game, but there’s not really anything that could justify Gobert being so mad that he punches a teammate during a game. While it’s not the first teammate punch of the year — nor the worst, as Draymond Green lays claim to that in his preseason altercation with Jordan Poole — it’s about as shocking because it happened during the last game of the regular season on the bench for a playoff contender.

UPDATE: Not long after, Gobert was sent home by the team and would not return to the pivotal game for play-in seeding.

It is truly stunning given the circumstances that Gobert would lose his cool in that manner, and now the Wolves will have to navigate a deficit without their star big man if they want a shot at the 7-8 game.