SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – On Thursday, Donovan Mitchell said his relationship with Rudy Gobert was good.
On Friday, it was Gobert’s turn to give his viewpoint.
“Our relationship was like the relationship of two competitors who want to win” Gobert said. “Like Donovan said, no one expects it to be perfect and its never going to be perfect. As long as we respect on another and we both share the same goals and we both do what’s best for the team, that’s what matters.”
Gobert took a lot of heat after being the first NBA player to test positive for COVID-19 back in March, and some people blamed him for sports being shut down.
“Obviously when you have the whole world judging you and threatening you and sending you a lot of negative energy and stuff like that I would say its something that’s not easy as a human being,” Gobert said. “But at the same time people around me really know me and know who I am and that’s what matters to me. I won’t be able to control everyone’s perception of me, but I can control my actions, I can control what I do for the people around me, for the community, the things I do for my teammates on the court, I can control and that’s what really matters to me.”
During the pandemic, Gobert’s name has been brought up several times in trade rumors, as so-called experts said his relationship with Mitchell was beyond repair. But Gobert tried to set the record straight.
“I’m really happy in Utah, like I’ve always been saying,” Gobert said. “I love living here, that’s the number one thing, and the number two thing, I plan on winning a championship here in Utah. Of course things evolve, things change, but as of today, I just think about being healthy first, mentally and physically and just go out there and try to win.”
While he was sick, Gobert said basketball was the last thing on his mind. His sense of smell is back to about 80 percent, and he’s used the time lately to get himself ready for a return to the court.
“I’m happy that I’m in a good place and happy that I got the joy back about playing basketball with my team and my competitiveness is back,” he said. “I’m ready to go back out there and try to win the championship, that’s the goal, and after everything that we’ve been through as a team and as human beings, it would be a great comeback.”
And who doesn’t love a good comeback story?
The Jazz leave for Orlando on Tuesday, and will restart the NBA season July 30th against New Orleans.