It has been expected for a while now that the Minnesota Timberwolves would have a lot of eyes on them around the start of the NBA Playoffs.
They had high hopes early in the season and ended up in the Western Conference play-in.
We certainly couldn’t have anticipated the reason they’d actually end up making headlines ahead of the playoffs.
Over the weekend, Rudy Gobert punched his own teammate, Kyle Anderson during a win over the New Orleans Pelicans.
Kyle Anderson and Rudy Gobert had to be separated after a heated altercation during a timeout. pic.twitter.com/HVuPNdjrxs
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 9, 2023
The punch led to Gobert being suspended for tonight’s game between the Timberwolves and Los Angeles Lakers.
Earlier tonight, Charles Barkley took a shot at Gobert on NBA on TNT before the start of the night’s first play-in game, which featured the Heat and Hawks.
Barkley slapped Kenny Smith on the arm and then started backpedaling, exclaiming, “I’m Rudy Gobert”.
He then commented on Gobert’s actions after he hit Anderson. Barkley said, “You can’t hit somebody and run backwards.”
"You can't hit somebody and run backwards" 🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/7Qa4iYtY0V
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) April 11, 2023
The whole thing wasn’t a great look for Gobert, especially given all of the rumors about issues between him and Donovan Mitchell before the Jazz traded him.
Backpedalling after being the one who made things physical was particularly bad look for the 7’1″ center who had quite a bit of size on Anderson.
Gobert’s reputation has had a rough few years and he did himself no favors on Sunday. The trade that brought him to Minnesota hasn’t worked out the way fans would have hoped. Now he’s missing a pivotal game for the team because of an issue with a teammate.
The least he could have done was not backpedal away from the issue he started.