PHILADELPHIA — By the time Friday’s game ended, Jazz center Rudy Gobert had heard enough from Sixers big Nerlens Noel.
More than enough, truth be told.
His wallet will be a bit lighter because of it, too.
Gobert and Noel each got slapped with a technical foul late in the fourth quarter for a brief, less-than-cordial interaction under the basket. The double techs were doled out after Noel swung on the rim a bit and Gobert swiped his arm at him after the play.
Spur of the moment reaction?
Or was that act of frustration building up throughout a physical game against a potential rival player?
“He was talking too much, that’s why,” Gobert said when asked about the technical. “I just got mad and I shouldn’t react. I shouldn’t react.”
It’s the fiery and feisty Frenchman’s natural inclination to react, so the 22-year-old has to practice self-control during games to not let his emotions get the best of him.
“I try to really control my emotions,” Gobert said, “because I don’t want to get a technical every game.”
The Jazz center accused Noel of yapping his gums all game. And Gobert said he engaged in some jawing with Noel, the Kentucky rookie who’s known for being one of the league’s up-and-coming interior defenders a la The Stifle Tower.
“Yeah, a little bit,” Gobert said. “I have to because that’s the only thing I can do.”
Most of all, the 7-foot-1 center didn’t like how the 6-11 Noel swung his body into him after the dunk.
“He (hung) on the rim and put his knee in my face a little bit,” Gobert said.
Utah’s starting middle man got the last laugh after the Jazz earned an 89-83 win over the Sixers.
“We won the game,” he said, “so I’m not mad.”
NEW JAZZMAN: Rookie Jerrelle Benimon had quite the journey to get to the NBA, and working his way up through the D-League was just part of it.
Benimon was called up this week by the Jazz, so he left Idaho with Utah’s affiliate Stampede and headed to Salt Lake City to sign the paperwork.
The power forward then flew out to catch up with his new team, first getting delayed on a connection in Atlanta because of weather before finally ending up in the same city (Philly) as the Jazz late Thursday night.
Only problem? “I still don’t have my bag,” Benimon said, smiling in the locker room at Wells Fargo Center before Friday’s game against the Sixers. “My bag’s lost. “
Benimon will take his former teammate Jack Cooley’s spot on the roster. Cooley was not extended a second 10-day contract after his expired Thursday.
In Benimon, the Jazz will get a week and a half to closely evaluate a 6-foot-8 power forward who averaged 19.9 points, 10.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists with the Stampede.
“It’s obviously a surreal feeling,” Benimon said about getting his first NBA opportunity.
Benimon, a 2015 D-League All-Star, wasn’t drafted last June after a strong two years at Towson following a stint at Georgetown.
ANOTHER CHANCE: The Jazz did re-up point guard Bryce Cotton to another short deal.
“I think I just showed them who I was,” the 6-1 playmaker said. “(I am) a guy who tries to fit in with the culture and do what’s necessary, bring energy and be a great teammate and just be professional about the whole business.”
NOT SHOTS FOR YOU: Jazz coach Quin Snyder called off shootaround Friday morning — in part because of cold weather and because the team spent about five hours on a plane Thursday afternoon en route from Boston. That included a three-hour delay on the tarmac.
“I was concerned about our energy and our legs,” Snyder said. “We found a little of that when we need it, but it took us awhile.”
The Jazz, after a slow start, played well for much of the second half to win for the eighth time in 11 games.