NBA

Timberwolves suspend Rudy Gobert for play-in game vs. Lakers after altercation with Anderson

Apr 10, 2023, 12:14 PM

The Minnesota Timberwolves will be without center Rudy Gobert when they take on the Los Angeles Lakers in their play-in tournament matchup on Tuesday.

The Timberwolves on Monday suspended Gobert following his altercation with teammate Kyle Anderson this past Sunday.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic’s Shams Charania were the first to report the punishment.

Wojnarowski added the Timberwolves had to suspend Gobert for the punch, though Minnesota did accept that there was no intent to injure Anderson and that the guard had recently called Gobert expletives while the center was playing hurt.

Gobert took a swing at Anderson and hit him in the chest in the second quarter of Minnesota’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday, when the flustered Timberwolves were trailing by 12 points.

The Timberwolves rallied to beat the Pelicans 113-108 and take eighth place in the Western Conference. That gives them two chances to win a play-in game to qualify for the playoffs. If they beat the Lakers, they’ll get the No. 7 seed and face Memphis in the first round. If they lose, they’ll host the winner of the New Orleans-Oklahoma City game on Friday night for the No. 8 seed and a first-round date with Denver.

Gobert sent a group-text apology to the team, guard Mike Conley said after the game. The big man also took to Twitter to apologize.

“Emotions got the best of me today,” he wrote. “I should not have reacted the way I did regardless of what was said.

“I want to apologize to the fans, the organization and particularly to Kyle, who is someone that I truly love and respect as a teammate.”

The Wolves also lost forward Jaden McDaniels on Sunday to a hand injury after he hit a wall in the tunnel that leads to the locker room after being called for his second foul in the first quarter. Another key player, backup center Naz Reid, is done for the season with a broken wrist from a fall on the court in the game on March 29 at Phoenix.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Timberwolves suspend Rudy Gobert for play-in game vs. Lakers after altercation with Anderson