Rudy Gobert drew significant criticism for his reckless behavior prior to his coronavirus diagnosis, and now one fellow NBA player is bashing him as well.
In an interview this week with Italian outlet Corriere della Sera, San Antonio Spurs guard Marco Belinelli spoke unfavorably about Gobert’s actions.
“Terrible,” said Belinelli, per Jeff Garcia of WOAI in San Antonio. “I prefer not to express myself because I don’t want to say things that then seem offensive or too serious, but what he did was yes, terrible.”
The 34-year-old Belinelli hails from Italy, a country that has been hit very hard by the coronavirus. He also praised local efforts to fight the disease.
“From a distance I see how all our doctors, our nurses, all those who are on the front line against the virus are giving 150% to heal people,” he said.
As for the Utah Jazz center Gobert, he was the first NBA player to test positive for COVID-19 and was touching microphones as well as reportedly exhibiting careless behavior in the locker room before his diagnosis. While the All-Star big has since apologized for not taking the disease seriously, his relationship with one teammate may be permanently damaged due to his actions.
It has been one full month since Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 and became the NBA’s patient zero, and the Utah Jazz center has since apologized multiple times for the cavalier attitude he showed toward the disease before he contracted it. That does not appear to be enough for fellow Jazz star Donovan Mitchell.
Mitchell also tested positive for the coronavirus, and he seemed to take a swipe at Gobert when providing an update about his condition a couple of days later. Gobert infamously mocked the concerns about coronavirus by touching every microphone and recorder in front of him two days before he tested positive, and his teammates were understandably bothered by it. The Athletic published a behind-the-scenes look on Friday at the days surrounding Gobert’s positive test, and the story cited sources who claim Mitchell still has not forgiven Gobert.
Sources told The Athletic that Mitchell has been reluctant to work on relieving the tension between him and Gobert, with one insider saying the relationship between the two players “doesn’t appear salvageable.”
That could change, of course, and Jazz forward Joe Ingles seems confident that it will.
“I’m confident our team is going to be totally fine,” Ingles said. “I heard Donovan’s response (on GMA), or whatever it was, to that question, and a part of that is on Donovan and Rudy to sort out if he’s frustrated with him or whatever. But I have no doubt when we go back to training, or when our season starts again, our team is going to be what we have been and what we are. … I’m confident our team will be completely fine. The chemistry will be fine.”
The interview Ingles was referring to was when Mitchell appeared on “Good Morning America” on March 16 and said it took a while for him to “cool off” after the way Gobert acted.
It can’t be proven that Gobert passed the coronavirus to Mitchell, but Gobert visited with family from France not long before he tested positive. Mitchell obviously feels he contracted COVID-19 from Gobert, and you can understand why.
Quin Snyder spoke with players at length about the coronavirus before Gobert tested positive, with some reportedly feeling the Jazz coach was being overly cautious. It’s safe to assume Gobert was among those who believed Snyder was being too paranoid, but Gobert is clearly remorseful and has tried to do what he can to help others who are impacted by the coronavirus.
The first known NBA player to contract the coronavirus has finally been cleared.
The Utah Jazz announced on Friday that Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell and all of the team’s players and personnel have been cleared by the Utah Department of Health to end their isolations, meaning they are not at risk of infecting anyone else with COVID-19.
Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus on March 11, and his positive test essentially brought the entire sports world to a screeching halt. The NBA quickly postponed its season, setting off a domino effect of almost all other leagues doing the same.
Gobert had initially mocked the coronavirus paranoia, and he later apologized for not taking it seriously and putting others at risk.
Mitchell tested positive after Gobert. Mitchell and other Jazz players were reportedly upset with Gobert for how he handled himself. Gobert has since tried to make things right by urging people to take COVID-19 seriously and making a huge donation.
Rudy Gobert is offering an update on his health and on one particular struggle that he is facing amid his coronavirus diagnosis.
The Utah Jazz center took to Twitter on Sunday to reveal that he had lost his sense of smell and taste, adding that he has not been able to smell anything for the last four days.
Gobert, 27, was the first confirmed NBA player to test positive for the virus. His diagnosis on Mar. 11 led to the immediate suspension of the NBA season.
While the two-time Defensive Player of the Year’s reckless behavior before his positive test led to significant criticism, he has since gone out of his way to try to educate the public about the reality of the coronavirus.
Rudy Gobert may be the reigning back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year, but that still is not enough to win over Ben Simmons.
The Philadelphia 76ers star was streaming a “Call of Duty” video game session on Twitch this week when the discussion turned to who he thinks are the top five defenders in the league. While offering his list, Simmons made a point of saying that the Utah Jazz center Gobert did not make the cut.
“I look at AD [Anthony Davis], and I think he’s a better defender than Gobert because he can defend guards at times,” he said. “I didn’t say Rudy [for my list] … I play ball. I’m looking at guys that can defend 1 through 5, man.”
Simmons eventually clarified that his list consisted of Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Marcus Smart, and Sixers teammate Joel Embiid.
While the 7-foot-1 Gobert might not have the mobility to be the NBA’s best one-on-one defender, he could very well be the best team defender in the league. His elite rim protection provides a stout back line of defense for his teammates and can greatly alter the gameplan of an entire opposing offense.
Simmons’ list seemed to be exclusively those currently in the East and/or those that he has faced in the playoffs in the East. The former No. 1 pick’s slight history with the Jazz probably shouldn’t be discounted either.
H/T Deseret News
Rudy Gobert has made an effort to educate the public about the coronavirus since he became the first player in major American sports to contract COVID-19, and the Utah Jazz star provided another update on his condition on Sunday.
In a video that was published on the NBA’s official Twitter page, Gobert thanked fans for their support and said he has been “feeling a little better every single day.” He also encouraged people to continue protecting themselves with practices like good hand washing and social distancing. Gobert then once again expressed regret over not taking the coronavirus more seriously from the start.
Gobert’s positive test last Wednesday led to the suspension of the NBA season, which helped trigger a domino effect that essentially shut down American sports for the time being. Gobert being the first to test positive was ironic, as he had previously mocked the way people were reacting to the coronavirus and the threat it poses.
Gobert has since issued an apology for his cavalier attitude and made a significant donation to those who are being impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
The statistics surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, particularly in the United States, are difficult to quantify, largely because there is not enough testing available to confirm cases. That’s one reason why social distancing is strongly encouraged to proactively help prevent the spread of the virus.
The limited amount of available tests has also led to questions about why such a disproportionate amount were used on an NBA team.
On Friday, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne published a look inside how the NBA came to the decision Wednesday night to suspend the season. The decision was made after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, who was previously listed as out for that evening’s game due to illness, tested positive for the coronavirus.
After Gobert tested positive, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver knew right away that the season would have to be suspended. Players from both the Jazz and Thunder were pulled off the floor immediately. Jazz players were given masks and gloves and told to wait in the locker room.
According to the ESPN article, Oklahoma state officials arrived to test all 58 members of the Jazz’s traveling party. At the time, the state health department only had the capacity to run about 100 tests per day. The state was down to a supply of about 250 total tests as of Thursday, State Epidemiologist Laurence Burnsed said via The Oklahoman. But they received 500 more on Friday.
So why were so many tests used on one NBA team’s traveling party?
Here are some answers.
First, having one famous NBA player test positive increased nationwide awareness for the issue on an enormous scale. Secondly, you have to start somewhere you think the virus is present and work to stop it. That’s what the officials were doing with the Jazz.
Finally, members of NBA teams are in close contact with each other, trainers, coaches, fans, referees, game officials, media members, arena staffers, and many more on a daily basis, and they travel from city to city. They can spread a virus much more readily than someone from any one community in Oklahoma, who doesn’t do much more than go to and from work most days.
One of the main jobs of a state health department is to act in the interest of the health of the people. Even if they used a high proportion of tests on one team, it was a wise decision.
This isn’t about elitism or professional athletes getting favorable treatment because they’re more important. This is about problem solving: how do we stop the spread of this virus most effectively with limited resources? And the answer is to try stopping those with the ability to contact the greatest amount. I believe the state accomplished this goal in an effective manner.
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert has received heavy criticism for the circumstances that led to his positive coronavirus test earlier this week, but now he’s putting his money where his mouth is.
The Jazz announced Saturday that Gobert is donating $500,000 to various locales in the name of coronavirus relief. $200,000 of it will go to part-time arena staff at Utah’s Vivint Smart Home Arena who will be out of work while the NBA is suspended. $100,000 each will go to funds for impacted families in Utah and Oklahoma, where Gobert tested positive, and another $100,000 will be donated to Gobert’s native France.
Gobert’s positive test led to the suspension of the NBA season, and helped trigger a domino effect that essentially shut down American sports. He has since apologized for not taking the virus seriously, and this act shows that he wants to help in a big way. For that, he should be applauded.
There is some good news on the coronavirus front in the NBA.
Toronto Raptors big man Serge Ibaka reportedly tested negative for the coronavirus, The Athletic’s Shams Charania said on Friday.
The reason why this was such a concern is because Ibaka defended Rudy Gobert during Monday’s game between the Utah Jazz and Raptors.
Gobert tested positive for the virus on Wednesday, which led to the postponement of that evening’s game in Oklahoma City, right before tip-off. The league subsequently announced a suspension of play to try and contain the pandemic.
In addition to Gobert, Utah’s Donovan Mitchell has also tested positive for the coronavirus and seemed upset with Gobert over it.
The league’s suspension of play is expected to last at least 30 days.
The timing of the NBA suspending the season may be a good thing for the Utah Jazz.
Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday. The rest of the team was also tested following Gobert’s positive test. Donovan Mitchell had a positive test and seemed to take a passive-aggressive approach to Gobert in a statement about the situation.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the seeming swipe from Mitchell was not accidental.
“The Jazz are fortunate that they don’t have to get back together and start playing games again right now. There is a lot of work to do to repair relationships. Not just between Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, but others in the locker room. There’s a lot of frustration with Gobert,” Woj said on “SportsCenter.”
Woj said it would be a test to get the team back on track if and when the league returns to play this season.
The report is not surprising considering Woj said earlier in the day that Jazz players felt Gobert was “careless” with his behavior. We certainly saw that when he mocked coronavirus by touching the media’s equipment on Monday.
And while players certainly are entitled to feel frustrated over the situation, nobody should be taking any anger out on Gobert. Yes, he was careless, and yes, his behavior was stupid. But he did not mean malice when he did it, he has already apologized, and being angry with him won’t help resolve the situation.
We should use his case as a reminder to be careful until the pandemic is under control.