Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert played the “no respect” card Wednesday night as they complained about NBA officiating.
Mitchell said his team needs to stop getting “screwed” by the referees following a 131-123 overtime to the 76ers. Gobert said the small-market Jazz don’t get a fair whistle.
Mitchell was ejected after two technical fouls in 27 seconds late in OT — with Joel Embiid lobbying for the first T, a move that the two discussed on Twitter after the game.
Mitchell was at his wit’s end by that point, and he was still teed off during his postgame availability.
“It’s tough to go out there and see how we fight and compete and to have a game like that taken from us,” he said. “And I’m never, ever one to blame the refs, blame the officials. I could say I, we could have done more. (Mitchell shot 12 for 34 on Wednesday.) But this is getting out of hand.
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“There have been games like this that we’ve won, there have been games that we’ve lost, but this whole refereeing stuff . . . we’re nice, we don’t complain, we don’t get frustrated, we fight through things. And the fact that we just continually get screwed, in a way, by this. We won this game, in my personal opinion.”
The Jazz star also appears sick of pundits still backing the Lakers and Clippers over Utah in the Western Conference.
“It’s the consistent thing. The question is, ‘Can we do it? Can we sustain it? Are we for real, No. 1?’ Like, yeah, the hell we are. It’s getting f—ing ridiculous. . . . I’m sick of it. To be honest, we all are. . . . It eats at me, man.
“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. I want to see the Last Two Minute Report.”
Maybe Mitchell wants to see how the league justifies this offensive foul in OT, which looked like a foul by Ben Simmons.
Gobert also threw out the conspiracy theory and echoed the “We’re too nice on the court” line.
“We’re not able to get some calls that everybody else in the f—ing league gets,” he said, per Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune. “We know that we’re the Utah Jazz, and there may be some people that don’t want to see us go as far as I believe that we can go.”
“We know that, you know, when you’re a small market — I don’t want to say it, but I really believe it — after playing in this league for eight years, it’s a little harder. And that’s one of the things that we’ve got to overcome,” he said later. “That’s why I told the guys, you know, that when you’re a small market, we got to be better than just better. You’ve got to be elite, and we’ve got to control what we can control. But it’s very disappointing to be disrespected like that.”
For the record, Utah is heading into the All-Star break with the league’s best record at 27-9 and before Wednesday had 98 more free throw attempts than its opponents. Sounds as if the Jazz think that’s too balanced. Against the Sixers, the free throws were 35-19 for Philly.
So it appears Utah will work the refs until it gets its way, and some of its top players are willing to cough up five-figure fines from the league to make it happen.
This article has been updated with Rudy Gobert’s comments.