Rudy Gobert 100% Believes NBA Referee Scott Foster is Fixing Games and He’s Sick of it

Rudy Gobert Scott Foster Minnesota Timberwolves
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves lost a tight matchup, on the road Friday night, to a pretty good Cleveland Cavaliers team. It was the 2nd night of a back-to-back and their 2nd game since Karl-Anthony Towns was diagnosed with a torn meniscus.

As a whole, the 113-104 OT loss was due to multiple factors, many of which were the Wolves’ own doing. Rudy Gobert fouled out in the 4th quarter, Anthony Edwards and Mike Conley combined to go 0-for-12 from behind the 3-point line and they were outscored by the Cavs 16-7 in overtime.

But there were plenty of factors that were out of their control. Obviously, the Karl-Anthony Towns injury hurt — though Naz Reid had the best game of his career (34 PTS, 5 REB, 2 BLK, 7/11 3PT) –, but Monte Morris was out too, and Chris Finch had to vacate the arena prior to tip-off because of an illness.

Scott Foster + Cavaliers vs Minnesota Timberwolves

As the night unfolded, however, the Timberwolves’ biggest problem became the referees, led by longtime NBA official, Scott Foster, who has been a ref in the league since 1994. More on him momentarily. Because we need to start with the most controversial televised money sign since Johnny Manziel last played in the NFL.

It came from Rudy Gobert, in the closing seconds of the 4th quarter Friday night. After another questionable foul by Foster, Rudy turned to the 25+ year veteran and rubbed the tips of his thumbs with the tips of his fingers, AKA: the money sign. An immediate technical foul was assessed, and the points Cleveland scored because of that tech allowed the game to go to OT.

Let’s start with, and consequently move on from, how dumb the timing of Gobert’s money sign really was. Even if he was right (and he has plenty of evidence in his favor), gesturing to the referees that they are being paid off to make calls against you, or throwing games in favor or your opponent, is going to get you a technical foul every time.

So doing it with 27.5 seconds left and your team up by one point is absolutely unacceptable. Ok, now that we’ve stated the obvious, let’s dig into why Rudy did what he did and why the coinciding tech was only the 2nd-biggest factor in last night’s loss.

Friday’s Timberwolves vs Cavaliers game was the worst officiated NBA game I’ve ever watched in real time. The referee bias against the Wolves was so palpable that, if they weren’t aggressively trying to push Cleveland to victory, then the league has an entirely different referee problem on its hands. Incompetence.

Related: Why was Anthony Edwards Late to Timberwolves vs Blazers Game?

All night long, the refs were extremely quick to the whistle whenever against the Timberwolves and swallowed it repeatedly whenever the Cavs got physical. It started early on when Anthony Edwards put Jarrett Allen on a poster and got called for flexing and yelling afterward, even though he wasn’t looking at Allen when he did it.

Related: Skip Bayless Calls Anthony Edwards Game-Saving Rejection The Easiest Block Ever

Even the foul that ended Gobert’s night and led to his money sign was questionable, at best. It’s like these bigs get sick of Rudy bullying them in the paint all night so they resort to flopping around instead everytime he gest physical with them instead.

Allen got Rudy twice. The earlier foul call came when Gobert was posting up to hard. He elbowed Jarrett in the chest on a hard back to the basket post move and he was called for a flagrant. The play went to review and was still determined a flagrant 1. I mean, it was all night long and the internet could not believe what it was seeing.

Related: Karl-Anthony Towns is Prioritizing Wolves Playoff Run Over His Own Future with Meniscus Quick Fix

After the game, reporters went to Rudy Gobert, who apologized for costing his team a loss, even if he does believe what he said to Foster on the court. But he also made it clear that he believes Scott Foster and other NBA refs are being paid off, either by the NBA, by sportsbooks or by gamblers to influence games. And he wants it to stop. Here are his full quotes (via Dane Moore)

“It’s not just one call. Everybody makes mistakes, but when it’s throughout the whole game and it’s over and over and over that things are weirdly officiated. And obviously that’s my sixth foul. Yeah, of course it’s frustrating. Then obviously my reaction — which I think is the truth I truly believe — and even if it is the truth, I think it wasn’t the time for me to react that way. I should have not done that. Cost my team the game. And obviously, they can’t wait to give me a tech. So yeah, that was a bad, that was an immature reaction from me.”

“I’ve been in this league a long time, man. And I understand this game pretty well. I love this game. I love to go and compete every night with my teammates. Tonight, it was the second night of a back to back. Obviously I made some mistakes. I elbowed on the dunk (an offensive foul he committed). Mistakes happen. Referees make mistakes, too. Sometimes I think it’s more than mistakes. And I’m gonna stay at that. I think everyone that’s in this league knows. And I think it’s got to get better. I’ll bite the bullet again. I’ll be the bad guy again that speaks what I think is the truth. And hopefully the league — I mean they’re probably gonna fine me, and once again I’ll take the fine — but I think it’s hurting our game. We shouldn’t — I know the betting and all that is becoming bigger and bigger — but it shouldn’t feel that way. And I give all my respect to the other team, to Cleveland. They played a hell of a game, too. But just let the players decide the game.”

Rudy Gobert on flashing the money symbol at Scott Foster (quote via Dane Moore)

Does Rudy Gobert have a case against Foster?

Look, I’m not saying that Rudy Gobert is right but I am saying that he isn’t the only one to accuse Scott Foster of cheating. Scott had a high-profile beef with Chris Paul last season and he’s gone toe-to-toe with other NBA stars throughout the years, including issues with Allen Iverson around the time “disgraced” referee Tim Donaghy resigned in the mid-2000s.

@plutorecaps NBA Rigged? #nba #basketball #hoops #refs #rigged #gilbertarenas #podcast #sports #fyp this feeling – neheart

If you will remember, Donaghy resigned back in 2007 because he was supposedly betting on and/or trying to persuade games to certain outcomes for others.

Now, there are a lot of conspiracy theories about what happened back then, including one from Donaghy himself who claims he was not a rogue referee with a gambling problem or debts owed to bad people. Instead, he claims it’s the NBA who wants certain outcomes for certain games and that it’s the refs’ job to help facilitate that.

Related: What if Anthony Edwards is Carry My Team to the NBA Finals Nearly Every Year Special?

But that’s an entirely different rabbit hole we don’t have time to travel down. Instead, it’s important to know that, during the time he was being investigated, Donaghy placed more phone calls (134) to his referee buddy, Scott Foster, than he did his own girlfriend (126). Here is Foster’s Wikipedia bio:

Foster has been labeled as the worst referee in the NBA by anonymous players polls ranging from 2016 to 2023. He has also been nicknamed“The Extender”because teams trailing inplayoffseries have often won games he has officiated, thus lengthening the number of games played.The records show disgraced refereeTim Donaghyplaced 134 calls to referee Scott Foster more than the 126 calls Donaghy made to his girlfriend between October 2006 and April 2007, the period during which he has confessed to either betting on games or passing on game information to gamblers. The majority of the phone calls lasted no more than two minutes and occurred prior to and after games Donaghy officiated and on which he admits wagering.

Wikipedia
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