Rudy Gobert was fined $25K for cursing on air. Why the Utah Jazz center says it was ‘worth it’

Some fans have rallied around Gobert’s comments as the Jazz prepare for Game 5 vs. the Dallas Mavericks

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) reacts to his block over Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) during Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Saturday, April 23, 2022, in Salt Lake City.

Rudy Gobert wasn’t exactly thrilled to be fined $25,000 as a result of the profanity used on TNT after his Utah Jazz won Game 4 — but he wasn’t exactly remorseful either.

“I think hearing all that talk surrounding our team, sometimes if you have to get a little fine to shut that down, it’s worth it,” Gobert said.

The fine came after Gobert was asked about the “talk” around the team, that they may not be able to go far in this year’s NBA playoffs.

“F--- the talk,” Gobert said.

Now the phrase has become a meme among some Jazz fans — some groups of which are selling T-shirts with the slogan. Gobert said that he had seen the shirts, and that he approved of them.

The proceeds from NBA fines are donated to charities selected by both the league and the NBA Players Association.

“I hope it goes to the Rudy’s Kids Foundation, so we can do some good things with it,” he said.

Fouls down low

The Mavericks know how important Maxi Kleber’s availability is to them — the forward’s 3-point shooting played a big role in their Games 2 and 3 wins. But in Game 4, Kleber found himself in severe foul trouble quickly: he had three in the first quarter alone, and fouled out after just 18 minutes.

Mavericks coach Jason Kidd, though, felt frustrated about some of those calls.

“Some of those fouls are trying to block out Gobert. We’re trying to figure out what the ruling is on boxing out and then teach our players what the correct way of boxing out is,” he said.

Here’s the thing, though: just one foul of Kleber’s was on boxing out a player down low — and it’s an obvious whistle, too.

Meanwhile, Gobert thought that he perhaps deserved more whistles than he’s received in this series.

“I thought in Game 3, I didn’t get none of those calls, and anytime I was doing anything illegal, I got the foul, so I didn’t think it was fair,” Gobert said. “In Game 4, I got a few, not all of them, of those calls.”

Hassan Whiteside’s superstitions

Meanwhile, Gobert’s Utah counterpart down low, Hassan Whiteside, spoke to reporters for the first time during the series at Monday’s shootaround. Whiteside noted that his was his first playoffs with fans since his time with the Miami Heat four years ago, when Whiteside played with the 2018 team that lost in five games to the Philadelphia 76ers.

The fans gave the team energy, Whiteside said, but so did Bojan Bogdanovic’s defense.

“Bogey picking up full court like that was really inspiring,” Whiteside said. “Man, we need that every time, man, if you can defend like that! We’ve got to leave these games exhausted.”

Meanwhile, Whiteside also had a suggestion for his teammates before Game 5, in order to keep the energy rolling from Game 4.

“I told my teammates, whatever you ate, eat it again. However you slept, do it again.”