Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert interacted with fans on Instagram live Sunday afternoon, and set the record straight about the reported rift between him and Donovan Mitchell
After waking up and reading my Twitter timeline on Friday morning, I was a little worried the Utah Jazz might be entering into rebuilding mode within the next year. The reason why?
A story from The Athletic was published, from which a source claimed the relationship between Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert was not “salvageable”. In other words, it looked like the Jazz would be forced into choosing to build around only one of their All-Star duo.
I had already gone through scenarios in which the Jazz could find a trade partner to reload around Rudy Gobert, or start a rebuild around Donovan Mitchell. The more plausible case of building around Donovan would likely drop the Jazz out of the playoff race immediately.
He’s even more irreplaceable on defense for the Jazz. Quin Snyder’s defensive scheme is built entirely around Rudy Gobert and his altering presence that blocks many shots, and scares even more offensive players out of the paint.
Losing that presence and trying to replace it with a young center, like John Collins or Mitchell Robinson, would spell disaster for the Utah Jazz in a hypothetical setting. If that happened, they would have to think about holding a fire sale and try to qualify for their 2021 draft pick.
If it lands in the top seven of the draft, they get to keep it. If it lands higher than that, the pick goes to the Memphis Grizzlies. What would hurt the most is missing the playoffs and conveying your first round draft pick to a rival Western Conference team.
But fans can rest assured for now. Rudy Gobert hosted a two hour long Instagram live video Sunday afternoon and got asked a couple of times about his reported beef between Donovan Mitchell.
The comedian Michael Blackson joined him for nearly an hour, and they talked about the novel coronavirus and its impact on sports and the world in general. Finally Blackson pointed out the elephant in the room and asked him “how are things with your best friend?”.
He was referring to Donovan Mitchell of course. Rudy was careful and guarded in his response, and said that the two have spoken and handled it like professionals. He added that we shouldn’t believe everything we read from the media.
His next guest was Taylor Rooks of Turner Sports. She cut to the chase with the question of how he and Donovan were doing, and if they had spoken to each other since being locked down in quarantine a month ago.
Hear it straight from Rudy Gobert himself:
He admitted their relationship is far from perfect, but reaffirmed that they both want the same thing, that being an NBA Championship.
This was great news to hear after the story of their broken relationship dominated NBA headlines not only last Friday, but on and off for the better part of a month.
The Jazz’s championship hopes rest on their star duo performing at the highest level possible, which they can’t do if they hate each other off the court. Let’s hope that Donovan Mitchell feels the same way, as he is yet to give us an update on how he views his relationship with Gobert.