Northwest Notes: Gobert, Camara, Fontecchio, Kessler, Kamagate

Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert, like Klay Thompson and Jaden McDaniels, was fined $25K for his role in an altercation early in a game between Minnesota and Golden State that ended with Draymond Green ejected and later suspended. However, according to The Star Tribune’s Chris Hine, Gobert wasn’t satisfied with the league’s ruling and said this week that he planned to appeal his fine.

You know every situation is different, but to me that was more than just a reaction,” Gobert said. “That was a personal attack. Me being fined when I chose to, when I was being a peacemaker and I chose to keep my hands up while I was being assaulted, is shameful. Shameful. And I’m gonna appeal that fine.

Immediately following Tuesday’s fracas, Gobert called Green out.

Clown behavior, and I’m proud of myself for being the bigger man again and again,” Gobert said after the altercation. “And yeah, [Green] doesn’t even deserve me putting my hands on him. My team needed me tonight. I did whatever I could to keep my cool and then show that I wasn’t making the situation worse, and I do hope that the league is going to do what needs to be done, because that’s just clown behavior. Not much to say. It’s clown behavior.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • The 3-9 Trail Blazers have been searching for more physicality, size and rebounding in their starting lineup and may have found it in second-round rookie Toumani Camara, according to OregonLive’s Aaron Fentress. Camara has started the past three games for Portland, replacing Matisse Thybulle. While Portland lost all three games, Camara’s impressive rookie season is continuing. In his three starts, he’s averaging 6.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocks. “Tou is going to be who he is going to be no matter if he’s starting or not,” head coach Chauncey Billups said. “He’s going to be the same guy. He’s going to scrap, he’s going to claw, he’s going to rebound. He’s going to protect the rim a little. He’s going to always be who he is.
  • Simone Fontecchio feels more comfortable with the Jazz in his second season with the team, even if the minutes haven’t come yet, according to The Deseret News’ Sarah Todd. Fontecchio had been bouncing around international rosters, along with playing for the Italian national team, before joining the Jazz. The fact that Utah had other international players that Fontecchio could relate to was huge for his acclimation. “He has an ability to really stay ready,” coach Will Hardy said. “Whether he plays a ton of minutes or whether he plays zero. Obviously his threat of shooting is is great for us. But I’m more excited about all the the other things that he does — crashing the glass, changing things on the floor, he is a great cutter, and he really has a toughness about him that I think our team needs.
  • Jazz center Walker Kessler is out for around two weeks with a UCL injury that usually requires Tommy John surgery. UCL injuries in basketball are a bit rare, but it’s a positive sign Kessler was diagnosed with a sprain and not a tear, according to The Salt Lake Tribune’s Eric Walden. Walden broke down the injury with a doctor, concluding that ligament isn’t used often in basketball, and the injury shouldn’t be worrisome.
  • The Nuggets selected Ismael Kamagate with the 46th overall pick in the 2022 NBA draft. He’s currently playing his first EuroLeague season with Milan and got to play with the Nuggets in Summer League this past season, averaging 6.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks across four starts. Though he admitted to that playing in the NBA is his dream, he’s willing to be patient. “We just have to not rush the process, because that’s how to can lose yourself. Take your time, do what you can do. In the team, everybody can do everything. You have to master what you do better, and that’s what I learned this summer,” Kamagate said.
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