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Mar 3, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) is fouled while attempting to dunk against Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) during the third quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Streicher, USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

NBA fines Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert for ripping officials

By Ryan Miller, KSL.com | Updated - Mar. 5, 2021 at 2:25 p.m. | Posted - Mar. 5, 2021 at 12:30 p.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY — As expected, the Utah Jazz's two All-Stars are paying for their scathing comments about the league's officiating following Wednesday's loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Donovan Mitchell has been fined $25,000 for his outburst following the game, along with his conduct while leaving the playing court after being ejected. Rudy Gobert, meanwhile, has been fined $20,000 for publicly criticizing the officiating, the league announced Friday.

Mitchell put Utah's 131-123 loss to the 76ers squarely on the officials, stating that he believed the Jazz would have won the game if not for some calls down the stretch.

"It's tough to go out there and see how we fight and compete and to have a game like that taken from us. I'm never, ever wanting to blame a ref, to blame an official — I always say I could have done more — but this is getting out of hand," Mitchell said.

Additionally, Mitchell pointed out that it was far from a one-game instance, and believed the Jazz were getting officiated differently than other teams.

"This is something that just — it eats at me, man," Mitchell said. "Y'all know what it is, we all know what it is, but it's really getting out of hand. It's really, really, really getting out of hand and the league needs to do something about this."

Mitchell received two technical fouls during overtime in the game and was ejected with 30.8 seconds remaining. As he left the court, he hit over a water cooler, which hit an area staffer who was seated near the Jazz's bench. Mitchell apologized and checked on the staffer before entering to the locker room.

Gobert was not requested to speak with the media following the game, but after Mitchell had gone off on the officiating, he made the choice to back his All-Star teammate up.

"I feel like a lot of guys are able to do things that we're not able to do," Gobert said. "And our guys are not able to get some calls that everybody else in the league gets. We know that we are the Utah Jazz and we know maybe some people don't want to see us go as far as I believe that we can go, but it's disappointing."

This is the second time in his career that Gobert has been fined for criticizing officials. The first came in Dec. 2018 after a loss to the Miami Heat when he said the refs had not called things both ways (in a bit more colorful language). He was fined $15,000 for those remarks.

The NBA's Last Two Minute report following Wednesday's game, said the officials had missed six calls (three that advantaged the 76ers and three that advantaged the Jazz) in the closing minutes of regulation and overtime.

Mike Conley and Jazz coach Quin Snyder, who also made mention of the officiating, were not fined. The veteran point guard said Mitchell's comments, while costly now, could pay dividends down the road.

"Maybe that'll draw some attention and we'll win the war later," Conley said. "It's just one battle tonight and it's a long season ahead."

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