Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) is ejected from the game in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018.

SALT LAKE CITY — Rudy Gobert contributed in a weird but quite effective way to the Utah Jazz’s 118-91 victory over the Houston Rockets.

He also helped increase Internet traffic.

Stats and playing time were in short supply for The Stifle Tower, but he provided an early spark for a team that’s trying to get on an extended roll after a slow start to the season.

Trailing by five seconds after his exit — for slapping items, including a water cup, off of the scorer's table following his second foul in three minutes — the Jazz ended up outscoring the Rockets by 14 points the rest of the quarter to establish control.

Here's how Jazz play-by-play broadcaster David Locke explained it on Twitter:

"Rudy Gobert has been ejected from the game. (Referee) Courtney Kirkland baited Rudy Gobert from the opening tip off. Likely in retribution for Rudy's comments in Miami. Got called for a foul on the opening tip then got hit on a (James) Harden flop and got ejected for his reaction.

And here's what Gobert's temper tantrum looked like from multiple angles:

Gobert’s final stat line: three minutes, three items cleared from the scorer's table, two points, two personal fouls, one rebound, one assist, one turnover, zero blocked shots.

And here's what it looked like animated (as if his real reaction wasn't animated enough), as a USA Today sports writer humorously tweeted:

More national reaction, led by Stephen A. Smith of ESPN firmly standing in Gobert's corner, tweeting, "To my brother @ReggieMillerTNT. Love ya. You know this, but I respectfully disagree. Yes, @rudygobert27 has got to control himself. But slapping a paper cut on the scorer’s table does NOT warrant an ejection. A tech? Yes! But not an ejection. The @NBA has got to cut this out!"

Not surprisingly, Jazz fans approved of Gobert’s tirade.

Could this be the real reason why Gobert took an early exit?

Of course, other teammates had fun with it:

Perhaps the most important question: How was Gobert’s form during the cup slap? A former tennis player chimed in.

Gobert's response to the media:

Gobert's response to his teammates and fans:

And here's what the referees had to say about the fouls and quick-trigger ejection:


The NFL did a special video about former BYU/Philadelphia Eagles star Vai Sikahema and Barrett Brooks becoming friends in an interesting way. As the Twitter promo pointed out, Sikahema and Brooks are "bonded for life" in a friendship that started thanks to a pair of sneakers.


Friday, Dec. 7

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  • G League: Stars at Greensboro, 5 p.m.
  • ECHL: Grizzlies at Idaho, 7 p.m.
  • Women’s basketball: Dixie State at South Dakota Mines, 5:30 p.m.
  • Women’s basketball: Snow vs. Northern Oklahoma, 2 p.m., at Colorado Springs (Air Force Prep tournament)

Saturday, Dec. 8

  • ECHL: Grizzlies at Idaho, 7 p.m.
  • Women’s basketball: Utah vs. BYU
  • Women’s basketball: Utah State at North Texas
  • Women’s basketball: SUU vs. Denver, 2 p.m.
  • Women’s basketball: Dixie State at Black Hills State, 4 p.m.
  • Women’s basketball: Snow vs. Casper, noon, at Colorado Springs (Air Force Prep tournament)

Sunday, Dec. 9

  • NBA: Jazz at Spurs, 5 p.m.