Rudy Gobert feels he’s not getting enough protection from the referees, and vows to hand out his own brand of justice if he has to.
The Utah Jazz center knows it’s not easy officiating NBA games, but says action needs to be taken when defenders try to hurt him.
Rudy Gobert picked up five personal fouls and one technical in 21 minutes during Monday's loss in Oklahoma City. Afterward, he had a few thoughts on the referees. https://t.co/lbql9rICEs
— Eric Walden (@tribjazz) December 11, 2018
The big fella picked up five fouls in 21 minutes during Monday night’s 122-113 road loss to the OKC Thunder.
Per the Salt Lake Tribune:
“Tonight, someone grabbed my arm, pulled me down — that was a very dangerous play, and I got called for the foul. So if I gotta do justice myself, I’m gonna do justice myself. And it’s gonna get ugly,” Gobert said. “Hopefully I don’t have to do that. I just want to play basketball.”
He added that he’s tried to give the officials the benefit of the doubt, recognizing that it’s both a thankless and near-impossible task to get everything right.
“It’s not easy — being an NBA referee is not an easy job. It’s hard, and there’s a lot of tricks that players do to try to get the calls. I know it’s not easy,” Gobert said. “But when it’s getting dangerous and people are trying to get me hurt, that’s when I can get mad.”
Asked if he’s had the opportunity to address his concerns to the league office and/or the referees’ union, he affirmed he had. However, Monday’s game did not inspire any confidence from him that it has done or will do any good.
“We’ve had a few conversations. But I don’t think it matters to them,” Gobert said. “They’re doing their job, I’m doing my job. But I don’t know. At this point, I don’t know. I just want to play basketball. I just want to be able to play basketball. That’s it.”