Charles Barkley calls for Rudy Gobert to be suspended as NBA on TNT icon claims ‘we can’t let people think it’s fixed’

ESPN personality Tony Kornheiser also weighed in on controversy

CHARLES Barkley believes Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert got away lightly with a $100,000 fine for suggesting the NBA has a gambling problem.

Gobert made a controversial ‘money’ gesture with his fingers to the officials after being fouled out during a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.

Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert reacts after fouling out during the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday
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Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert reacts after fouling out during the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers on FridayCredit: Reuters

Charles Barkley says a $100,000 fine for Gobert was not enough
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Charles Barkley says a $100,000 fine for Gobert was not enoughCredit: TNT

The Inside the NBA host believes Gobert should have been given a ban by the NBA
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The Inside the NBA host believes Gobert should have been given a ban by the NBACredit: TNT

Co-hosts Kenny Smth and Shaquille O'Neal thought a fine was a suitable punishment
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Co-hosts Kenny Smth and Shaquille O’Neal thought a fine was a suitable punishmentCredit: TNT
The Timberwolves star was then fined $1000,00 by the league for his comments about referees after the game.

“Mistakes happen. Referees make mistakes, too,” Gobert said.

“But sometimes I think it’s more than mistakes. I think everyone that’s in this league knows.

“I think it’s got to get better. I know the betting and all that is becoming bigger and bigger, but it shouldn’t feel that way.”

Barkley responded to the controversial moment on Inside the NBA, stating that he believed Gobert should have been suspended for his actions.

“The one thing we can never do in sports, ever, is make people think it’s fixed,” Barkley said.

“If we ever get to the point, in any sport, it would ruin the sport if people thought it was fixed.

“They’ve fined Luka Doncic. They’ve fined Rudy Gobert before. I thought they should have suspended him.”

Inside the NBA co-hosts Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal believed that a fine was a suitable punishment.

Gobert was slapped with the maximum fine amount an NBA player can receive for detrimental conduct or statements.

Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy was embroiled in an alleged match-fixing scandal in the mid-2000s.

And ESPN personality Tony Kornheiser believes the NBA faces a “crisis” over Gobert’s actions.

“I believe Adam Silver has a crisis right now,” Kornheiser said on Pardon the Interruption.

“(Gobert) is saying the guy is taking money. There’s an integrity to the game.

“You can say he’s joking, you can say he doesn’t believe it, but he’s saying it.

“And Adam Silver has this in the closet with Tim Donaghy. So you’ve got to go out there and make sure the public doesn’t think (he’s right).

“In hindsight, I’m not sure the fine was enough.”

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