Utah Jazz: 2 players fuel hope by leaving Tokyo as decorated Olympians

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images)
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images) /

It was a historic and successful Olympic run for a couple of Utah Jazz gems.

Although the 2020-21 NBA season didn’t end the way the Utah Jazz would’ve liked, a few Jazz players spent no time sulking in the disappointment but rather pushed it to the side for the opportunity to bring their country national glory. Rudy Gobert and Joe Ingles made not only their countries but Utah fans proud by securing medals during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The three-time Defensive Player of the Year displayed his true dominance throughout France’s run in an attempt for a gold medal. Gobert’s efforts helped put them up against the team that they upset in the group stages, Team USA, in a highly anticipated rematch for gold on Saturday.

Gobert was dominant in the first half, using his physicality to his advantage against a group of Americans that lacked interior presence. He was getting to the free-throw line at will. However, it is clear that there is still some work to be done on his shooting from the charity stripe, as he went only 6-for-13 in the contest.

Despite the struggles from the free-throw line, Gobert helped keep France in the game until the closing moments. But gold was just a bit out of reach for “The Stifle Tower” and his countrymen. The 87-82 loss left the Frenchmen with the silver medal.

However, the run by Gobert and the French team was nothing short of impressive and has set the tone of winning that the 7-foot-1 center intends to carry into the 2021-22 NBA season.

Utah Jazz treasure Joe Ingles helps make history for Australia

The bronze-medal game featured Jazz fan-favorite Joe Ingles and Australia facing off against the Luka Doncic-led Slovenian team. It was quite the opposite of the France-USA game, as Australia dominated early.

Ingles and the Boomers notched a 107-93 win, thereby securing the nation’s first medal in men’s basketball history.

Altogether, Ingles poured in 16 points, nine rebounds, and four assists in helping propel Australia to the comfortable victory. He did so by doing what he does best: controlling the pace of the game and imposing his competitive will in any area he sees fit.

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No matter how some Jazz fans may feel regarding the NBA season, it is nice to see a few guys have national success while adding to Utah goosebumps as well.