Utah Jazz superstars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert took officials to task for their officiating of Utah Jazz games, following the 131-123 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night that saw Mitchell hit with two technicals during the final minute of overtime play, which led to his ejection.
Mitchell says the Jazz are tired of being “screwed” by the referees, calling their officiating of Jazz games “f–king ridiculous”, according to ESPN’s Tim Botemps.
“First off, you know, give the 76ers credit. They played a hard game. Joel [Embiid] did what he does, and at the end of the day, they’re a good team” Mitchell continued. “We competed. But it’s tough. It’s tough to go out there and see how we fight and compete, and to have a game like that taken from us,” Mitchell said following Wednesday night’s contest.
“Now, I’m never ever one to blame a ref, to blame an official — I can say I could have done more — but this is getting out of hand. There have been games like this that we’ve won; there have been games like this that we’ve lost. But this whole refereeing stuff. … We’re nice, we don’t complain, like, we don’t get frustrated, we fight through things, and the fact that we continually get … screwed, in a way, by this. You know?”
“We won this game, in my personal opinion. You know?” Mitchell continued. “But like I said, I’m going to give them credit. They won. Whatever. Cool. But it’s been a consistent thing, and the question is, ‘Can we do it? Can we sustain it? Are we for real No. 1? And, yeah, the hell we are. And it’s getting f—ing ridiculous that this is what is happening.”
“We have a whole second half of the season to go and get ready for, and I’m sick of it, to be honest with you,” Mitchell said. “We all are. This is something that just it eats me. It eats at me, man.
“Y’all know what it is. We all know what it is. But it’s really getting out of hand. It’s really, really, really getting out of hand. And the league needs to do something about this. I want to see the Last Two Minute Report. I want to see it. But it’s getting out of hand.”
Mitchell’s teammate Gobert, supported his take.
“I think it’s disrespectful, to be honest, to the game of basketball and to our team, and hopefully, they’re going to watch the game when they get home,” Gobert said. “Hopefully, they feel ashamed when they watch the game.”
Gobert stopped short of saying that the Jazz were being treated unfairly because they play in a small market.
“I don’t want to say that,” Gobert said, “but I really believe it. After playing in this league for eight years, it’s a little harder [to be in a small market], and that’s one of the things that we’ve got to overcome. That’s why I told the guys: ‘When you’re a small market, you’ve got to be better than just better. You’ve got to be elite, and you’ve got to control what you can control.’
“But it’s very disappointing to be disrespected like that. … It’s not just one play, because we all make mistakes. I have a lot of respect for the officials. It’s a tough job. I think they try their best, but it was too obvious tonight. They can’t make it that obvious. We’re going to watch film and do all that and keep getting better, but we deserve more respect as a team and as human beings for all the work we put in.”