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What Rudy Gobert, Myles Turner and Donovan Mitchell said after the Jazz-Pacers altercation

Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles were all ejected late in the 4th quarter of the Jazz’s loss to the Pacers.

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Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) is restrained after a fight between Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) and Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner (33) in the fourth quarter at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

No point in wasting any time, let’s break down what happened on Thursday night at Vivint Arena.

The Utah Jazz were not playing very well against the Indiana Pacers, and they felt like the game was being called unfairly by the officials. The frustration from their losing effort and their view of the officiating boiled over with four minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Rudy Gobert went up for a shot which was blocked by Pacers center Myles Turner. Gobert thought that he was fouled on the play and grabbed Turner’s shorts as he fell to the floor.

Both ended up on the ground, and when Turner looks to the officials to deal with him being pulled to the ground, he gets no call. This is where things start to turn ugly.

“He fouled me and then I fell down and I pulled him down,” Gobert said. “It was a foul, I fouled him. I got up, he shoved me in the back, and then nothing.”

Well, it wasn’t exactly nothing, but we’ll get to what Gobert meant by that in just a minute.

What ensued was a classic NBA kerfuffle.

After both players got up from the floor, Turner body checked Gobert on his left side. Gobert then turned around and charged/bear hugged Turner. Less than eight seconds after Turner checked Gobert, the two were flanked by teammates, coaches and security and were pulled apart. But that’s not where things ended.

A few things happened in a matter of about 10 seconds:

  • Joe Ingles, who had been watching from the other end of the floor, sprinted down toward Turner and Gobert and shoved official Ed Malloy out of the way. He looked like he was going after Turner, but was thwarted by the Pacers Kelan Martin who pushed Ingles away.
  • Mike Conley kept watch on Gobert from behind the frenzy.
  • Donovan Mitchell and Royce O’Neale rushed into the chaos.
  • The Jazz players are pulled away from everything by team security, but Mitchell gets away from then and runs toward the officials and the Pacers, continuing to yell.
  • After officials reviewed the play, they ejected Turner, Gobert, Ingles and Mitchell. After the game, Malloy gave the following reasons for each ejection:
Myles Turner was assessed a technical foul and ejected for participating in an altercation.

Rudy Gobert was assessed a technical foul and ejected for participating in an altercation.

Joe Ingles was assessed a technical foul and was ejected from the game for making contact with an official and acting as an instigator and escalating the situation.

Donovan Mitchell was assessed a technical foul and ejected for acting as an instigator and escalating the situation.

Ingles declined to speak with reporters after the game. But from all of the other players involved, there was a consensus that the officials let the game get too heated and physical early on and frustration over non-calls on both sides boiled over.

“I thought all of that could have been prevented, but that’s beside the point,” Turner said. “When he pulled me down I wasn’t about to take that, so, kept it rolling.”

Mitchell was a little bit more descriptive when he addressed the situation.

“It’s really at a point now, especially tonight, where the referees are allowing things to get out of hand,” Mitchell said. “Both teams, we’re competitors and we’ll play through contact and talk (expletive) and do whatever. But at some point it’s continuing to build and you can sense that.

“You’ve got to draw the line early, otherwise you’re going to get situations like that. We’re in a situation where we feel like we can possibly come back and then you eject three key guys? Have that energy in the first quarter. It’s inconsistent with the officiating as far as the contact — what’s good and what’s not good. It goes both ways.”

No one really saw what was happening between Gobert and Turner. Mitchell said he didn’t see it, O’Neale said he didn’t see it, and Jazz head coach Quin Snyder didn’t see it. They just charged in to defend their teammate and air their frustrations in general.

“Anytime that your teammate gets tangled up like that you’re going to react and you’re going to react emotionally and have your teammates back,” Snyder said. “It goes from there, that’s not atypical of any situation. There was obviously a lot of emotion and it escalated.”

Probably the most humorous and honest account came from Gobert after the game. He said what everyone who watches basketball is thinking when people start to get into an ‘altercation’ on the court. NBA players don’t fight. They act like they’re going to, but they never do.

“First of all, we know we’re not going to fight,” Gobert said. “Guys need to stop acting like they’re going to fight because we know that in two seconds there’s going to be 20 security guards in between us. They know that it plays good for the cameras, but we know we’re not going to fight.”

So what’s going to happen in the days to come?

Fines might be levied against players and there could be suspensions coming too.

Mitchell will likely be fined for his comments after the game. If I had to guess, I’d say that Turner, Gobert and Mitchell won’t face extra suspension because as Gobert said, they didn’t hurt anyone and they weren’t going to.

Ingles could face some sort of larger punishment because of his contact with Malloy.

So there you have it. All of the details from the non-fight altercation that took place at Vivint Arena on Thursday night.