Timberwolves forward Taj Gibson “lost it” Friday night in the third quarter of Minnesota’s 106-102 loss to the Jazz.
His words. Not ours.
With the Jazz leading 65-54 midway through the third quarter, a dispute over a no-call on Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell against Timberwolves’ Andrew Wiggins resulted in Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns getting a technical.
Gibson’s heated objection earned himself a technical from referee James Williams, and that’s when Gibson really melted down and he received another technical foul and an automatic ejection from the game. While being restrained by teammates and moved down the bench away from Williams, Gibson was able to get his left hand free long enough to flash an obscene gesture toward Williams.
Taj Gibson really flipped off the ref after getting tossed 😳 pic.twitter.com/59YJXiYNyz
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 26, 2019
After the game, Gibson was as contrite as he had been angry on the court, apologizing for his actions and saying he would be apologizing to Williams.
“He’s like a big brother,” Gibson said, as reported by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “You see him every day, you have a relationship, sometimes tempers flare and you kind of lose it a little bit, but you know you mean well. I’ll see him again, but it was just part of the job. It was just one of those times I just lost it.”
That the Timberwolves were losing and suffering through a 13-0 Jazz run was a factor in his emotions, Gibson said, as were plays he felt should have resulted in fouls called against the Jazz but weren’t.
“We were so beat up and banged up, I saw him miss a couple plays, blatant foul plays and I just lost it,” Gibson said.
Gibson also said he also wanted to apologize for the gesture he made toward Williams, saying it was “just a part of the emotion.”
“Like I said before, I’m human, but I got a lot of respect for James,” Gibson said, per the Star-Tribune. “Playing the games – he’s been reffing my games 10-plus years in the NBA. That’s up to me to just go talk to him and apologize.”