Rudy Gobert responds to Charles Barkley Screengrab: via WaPo’s Ben Golliver on X.

There’s been no shortage of criticism toward Rudy Gobert on Inside the NBA.

Whether it’s from Shaquille O’Neal, Draymond Green or Charles Barkley, someone on TNT Sports always has a bone to pick with the French native. And Sunday saw the latter of the trio claiming during a 15-point halftime deficit that Minnesota needed to get Gobert out of the game.

“Joker is just throwing him around like a damn ragdoll, first and foremost,” Barkley said of Gobert.

After trailing by as many as 20, the Timberwolves overcame a 15-point halftime deficit — the largest comeback in a Game 7 in NBA playoff history — to clinch a date with the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals.

And ironically enough, Minnesota wouldn’t have been able to knock off the defending champions without Gobert.

Who would’ve thought? Gobert draining a turnaround fadeaway over Nikola Jokić in a crucial Game 7 certainly wasn’t on anyone else’s bingo card. That wasn’t all – he dominated the final quarter, finishing a +9 in just 10 minutes and pouring in 8 of his 13 points down the stretch.

Imagine telling Barkley that Gobert would be the hero in a Game 7?

It was just at halftime that Barkley was advocating for Gobert to be benched on national television. It’s not like Minnesota head coach Chris Finch was listening to TNT in the locker room—but he probably wouldn’t adhere to that advice even if he was.

Instead, he leaned on Gobert when it mattered, and Gobert is glad that not only does he not listen to those guys, but his coach doesn’t either.

“I don’t know. I don’t watch those guys, so I don’t know what they talk about,” Gobert said in response to a reporter’s question regarding Barkley calling for his benching. “I know that they have to talk about something, and they have to talk about us…But I’m glad coach didn’t listen to his advice.”

And so are Timberwolves fans.

[Ben Golliver on X]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.