SALT LAKE CITY – Taj Gibson is never one to shy away from letting officials know when he thinks a call was wrong. But on Friday night in Utah, Gibson’s emotions got the better of him in the Wolves’ 106-102 loss.
Gibson got ejected in the third quarter as he snapped at official James Williams and made an obscene gesture as he exited the floor. Teammates had to hold Gibson back from going after Williams. But after the game, Gibson had cooled down and said he planned to apologize to Williams.
“He’s like a big brother,” Gibson said. “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.”
Gibson said the position the Wolves were in -- down 11 in the third quarter – added to his emotions when he saw what he thought should have been fouls against the Jazz go uncalled.
“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.
As for the gesture he made toward Williams, which might draw Gibson a fine, Gibson said that 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. “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.”
Dieng goes down
The Wolves had another injury to add to their already extensive list. Gorgui Dieng exited the game in the third quarter because of a left hip contusion.
Interim head coach Ryan Saunders was unsure of Dieng’s status going forward.
Dieng joins Tyus Jones (left ankle), Derrick Rose (right ankle), Jeff Teague (left foot), Robert Covington (right knee bone bruise) on the injured list. But despite the rash of injuries, Saunders doesn’t want the Wolves to use them as an excuse.
“This is the NBA,” Saunders said. “Unexpected things happen. Unexpected people step up, so we’re not going to feel sorry for ourselves.”