During these tough times, Evan Fournier once again came to the aid of Utah Jazz All-Star Rudy Gobert, defending his friend in a recent interview.
From “Gobert is the reason why all sports are suspended!” to “Gobert should be kicked out of the NBA!”, I’ve seen quite a lot of criticism going his way. The reality, though, is that Gobert’s diagnosis saved lives and was the stepping stone for leagues around the world to take this virus seriously and rightfully suspend/cancel play.
Gobert was the first NBA player to be diagnosed with novel coronavirus, with his All-Star teammate, Donovan Mitchell, being diagnosed a day later.
The talk among most Utah Jazz fans of late has been the duo’s strained relationship. Mitchell, and other Utah Jazz players, were reportedly frustrated with Gobert’s lack of seriousness when it came to the virus.
More from The J-Notes
- Can Ed Davis’ career survive his first season with the Utah Jazz?
- Jerry Sloan: The Utah Jazz’s small-market savior
- Utah Jazz: New York is a threat to snag Donovan Mitchell… in six years
- Utah Jazz: Talented front office is manifesting itself
- Utah Jazz: Championship aspirations take major hit sans Bogdanovic
Since then, there has been no public communication between Gobert and Mitchell. We don’t know what goes on behind the scenes, but from my view, this thing is getting ugly. We can only hope that time heals these wounds and the Jazz stars can eventually get back on the same page.
Believe it or not, the player who has showed continued support of Gobert since his diagnosis isn’t a Utah Jazz player. It’s his fellow Frenchman and Orlando Magic guard, Evan Fournier.
Fournier originally took to Twitter to let the world know that he spoke to Gobert after his diagnosis and that he was doing well. He then showed his displeasure with Gobert taking heat from just about every direction.
In an interview with L’Équipe (subscription required), Fournier continued to voice his displeasure with the behavior of those attacking Gobert.
By now, I’m sure we’ve all seen the video clip of Gobert touching each microphone during a press conference shortly before his diagnosis. Yes, it wasn’t the smartest thing to do, but Gobert was poking fun at a situation many other had already joked with.
He has since acknowledged his actions and apologized. He took it like a man and owned up to it. He’s also made a massive donation to those dealing with the pandemic in Utah, Oklahoma and France.
I personally believe that Gobert has made the best of a terrible situation. On top of that, he continues to post on social media, educating people around the world and warning them to be careful as this virus continues to spread.
I’d love to see more Utah Jazz players stand up for Gobert, but it’s heart warming to see Fournier, a close friend of Gobert, stick up for him. Like I said, I don’t know what goes on behind the scenes, but as a Utah Jazz fan and Rudy Gobert supporter, I sure do his appreciate his public efforts.
We will see if time does Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz any good. One thing is for sure, Evan Fournier will be in Rudy Gobert’s corner no matter what, and that’s the kind of stuff you love to see.
For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.