Utah Jazz: Rudy Gobert prepares to trash-talk All-Star coach

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports) /

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert has a plan for his repeat All-Star appearance.

Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game will mark the second straight showing for Utah Jazz sensations Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, who are each slated to come off the bench. But it will be the All-Star arrival of their mastermind head coach, Quin Snyder, who is tasked with overseeing Team LeBron.

And we won’t know until Thursday’s All-Star Draft, featuring captains LeBron James and Kevin Durant, whether either Mitchell or Gobert will play for Snyder in the event (last year, Mitchell and Gobert were alongside one another on Team Giannis).

Now, though, we do know that Gobert, who is leading the league in total rebounds for the second year in a row to go along with averages of 14.0 points and a career-high 2.7 blocks per game, is willing to rib the All-Star newbie coach.

Per Ben Anderson of KSL Sports, here is the first part of what the 28-year-old 7-footer said to the media on Monday about potentially facing the 54-year-old Snyder, his head coach for seven of the eight seasons he’s been in the NBA:

“It’s about trying to enjoy the moment. I mean, it would be fun to be on Quin’s team, but it would also be really fun to be against him.”

So what happens if both Utah Jazz players do end up on Team Durant?

Rudy Gobert also implied on Monday that if Kevin Durant selects both him and Donovan Mitchell  — thereby pitting them against Quin Snyder and the LeBron James bunch — then he is fully willing to force his full-time head coach into a technical foul if necessary, and if possible, of course:

“We’re going to talk hopefully a little trash if I’m trying to get Quin to get a technical or something if I’m on the other team. Regardless of that, it’s going to be a good time.”

The 2021 NBA All-Star Game is set for 6 p.m. ET Sunday (TNT) in Atlanta. Meanwhile, Utah, now leading the league with a 27-7 record, still has two outings on tap before the break, beginning at 7 p.m. CT Monday on the road against the New Orleans Pelicans (14-17).

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