PHILADELPHIA — Utah Jazz players and fans are frustrated with the three-man crew who refereed Wednesday night's game against the Philadelphia 76ers.
The 76ers defeated the Jazz in a 131-123 game that went into overtime.
"Donovan Mitchell, who received two technical fouls in the game’s final 57.5 seconds and was ejected, went on a profane postgame rant alleging the Jazz 'continually get screwed.' Mike Conley came right out and said that small-market teams and teams that don’t have ratings-driving superstars are subject to a different set of rules from officials. Rudy Gobert, even having had time to cool down, echoed his teammates’ accusations, dropped a profane rant of his own, spitting fire about how he and his teammates are constantly disrespected," Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune wrote.
According to an NBA.com article, Mitchell apologized for kicking a water cooler toward a security guard after he was ejected.
“I’m never ever one to blame a ref, blame an official, but this is getting out of hand,” Mitchell said. “There have been games like this we’ve won. Games we’ve lost. We’re nice, we don’t complain, we don’t get frustrated, we fight through things. But the fact that we continuously get screwed in a way by this … It’s getting [expletive] ridiculous.”
Rudy Gobert and Mike Conley also allege that the Jazz have been treated unfairly.
“As I’ve been in this league and I’ve been watching a lot of games, I feel like a lot of guys are able to do things that we’re not able to do. And our guys are not able to get some calls that everybody else in the f---ing league gets,” Gobert said. “… Hopefully they’re going to watch the game when they get home. Hopefully they feel ashamed.”
Conley said he feels the Utah Jazz has been officiated differently for his entire career.
“Honestly, you know, it’s just that small-market [thing], we don’t have the big-time names, the ones that are all over TV and stuff like that. So it can get a little wild for us,” Conley said. “We have stars — Don’s a star, Rudy’s a star, Bojan [Bogdanovic] and guys deserve to get those calls. And it’s just not happening for us right now, and it’s unfortunate.”
Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune wrote that the post-game comments from some of the Jazz players will result in tens of thousands of dollars in fines.
Wednesday's game featured the teams with the best records in each conference, and Philly won this time after losing at Utah last month.
Donovan Mitchell had 33 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Jazz, who lost their second straight.
Mitchell, Gobert and coach Quin Snyder will now go to Atlanta to represent Utah in the NBA All-Star game.