Rudy Gobert sent home after punching Timberwolves teammate Kyle Anderson; Jaden McDaniels fractures hand punching wall

The Minnesota Timberwolves' regular-season finale vs. the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday saw two separate displays of unbridled frustration. When all was said and done, the team found itself with two fewer players for the day.

Despite the struggles, Minnesota was able to secure the 113-108 win in a game with heavy playoff implications.

The drama appeared to begin when center Rudy Gobert and forward Kyle Anderson were seen engaging in an animated discussion during a timeout. Gobert punched Anderson and chaos broke loose on the Timberwolves bench. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports reports that Anderson told Gobert “Shut the f*** up, bitch” prior to the punch. This was after Anderson told Gobert to block some shots and Gobert responded by telling Anderson to grab a rebound, per the report.

According to multiple reports, the team sent Gobert home. Shortly after, Minnesota announced the French big man was "out for the remainder of the game." He left with 2 points and 3 rebounds.

Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert (27) looks on during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Sunday, April 2, 2023, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert was at the center of a spectacle Sunday. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

The Wolves were down by 12 with 4:23 left in the second quarter when the series of events occurred. Gobert was subbed out of the game and Anderson took his place on the court.

You can watch the scuffle here:

Gobert's wasn't the only punch thrown by a Timberwolves player in the arena on Sunday. Broadcast cameras captured Forward Jaden McDaniels punching a wall in the tunnel and immediately grabbing his hand in pain. McDaniels only played nine minutes, recording one rebound and one steal.

The team went on to announce he was out for remainder of the game. After the final buzzer, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported McDaniels sustained a fractured hand.

There's no indication of what caused the initial huddle drama. Star Tribune reporter Chris Hine noted that while working on a story about Anderson's leadership, he got an interesting quote from Gobert about his teammate.

"Kyle (Anderson) wants to win and sometimes he's a little aggressive in the way he talks, but I don't take it personally," Gobert said. "I receive it in a positive way because it comes from a place of wanting me to be the best Rudy I can be and wanting us to win. I love his competitiveness, love the way he plays the game. The way he makes others around him better. He's been a huge part of this year."

Anderson left the game with 8 points, 4 assists, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks and 1 steal.

Via Wojnarowski, Minnesota President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly confirmed reports of Gobert's whereabouts.

“We made the decision to send Rudy Gobert home after the incident in the second quarter," he said. "His behavior on the bench was unacceptable and we will continue handling the situation internally.”

Gobert apologized later on Twitter.

After the victory, highlighted by a 30-point performance from Karl Anthony-Towns, the Wolves have the No. 8 seed and are slated to face the Los Angeles Lakers in the play-in tournament.