- Utah star Rudy Gobert struggled early in the Jazz’s home contest against the Houston Rockets Thursday night.
- The 7-foot-1 Saint-Quentin, France, native was called for a foul one second into the game for grabbing the arm of Rockets big man Clint Capela during the opening tip.
- Two minutes later, Gobert was whistled for a controversial offensive foul against reigning NBA MVP James Harden, who is notorious for flopping.
- As he made his way to the bench, Gobert slapped a drink off of the scorers’ table in apparent frustration and was subsequently issued a technical foul and ejected from the game.
- Gobert made good use of his time by working out during the game and posting Instagram stories that have since been deleted of the otherwise-empty training center.
Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert had a rough, rough start to Thursday night’s contest.
It was so rough, in fact, that the 7-foot-1 Frenchman didn’t stick around past the first three minutes of the game.
Gobert was whistled one second into the game and charged with a loose ball foul for grabbing Houston Rockets center Clint Capela’s arm on the opening tip. Everybody on the floor seemed stunned by the call, including Jazz head coach Quin Snyder, who can be seen asking the referees “Are you kidding me?” on the replay.
Rudy Gobert picked up two early fouls and got ejected. ???????? pic.twitter.com/kzhDlTqQCV
— House of Highlights (@HoHighlights) December 7, 2018
Gobert managed to brush off the penalty and continue playing, but less than three minutes later he was charged with a controversial offensive foul for pushing off of Houston star and notorious flopper James Harden while posting up under the basket.
The Saint-Quentin, France, native was visibly frustrated as he left the floor with two personal fouls. Before he reached the bench, Gobert slapped a drink off of the scorers’ table and shouted angrily towards the referees. He was issued a technical foul and subsequently ejected from the game just 2:47 into the contest.
Gobert decided to work out his frustration in the gym. Shortly after his quick exit from the game, Gobert posted photos and videos to his Instagram story of himself working out in an otherwise-empty training facility in the arena. The posts have since been deleted from Gobert’s feed.
Rudy Gobert went straight into a workout after getting ejected in 1Q ???? pic.twitter.com/KJc4f6zVkR
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 7, 2018
Utah handed the Rockets a 118-91 loss despite losing their starting center so early on in the contest. But after the game, NBA Crew Chief Tom Washington addressed a series of questions regarding Gobert’s fouls and eventual ejection.
“During the jump ball, Rudy Gobert grabs the arm of Capela, which is illegal contact so it was a loose ball foul,” Washington told pool reporter Eric Woodyard of the Deseret News. “He was [later] issued a one-technical ejection because as he was coming off the floor he forcefully swung at items on the scorer’s table and those three items came out to the floor a considerable amount. It was just too demonstrative and we had to take action on that.”
For his part, Gobert blamed himself for letting his frustration get the best of him.
“I had a stupid reaction,” Gobert said to reporters after the game. “I can blame myself more than anything for that one… I’ve got to be smarter.”