Rudy Gobert was the first professional athlete in the United States to be diagnosed with coronavirus, and the Utah Jazz star issued an apology on Thursday for the cavalier attitude he showed toward the illness before he knew he had contracted it.
Gobert thanked fans for their concern in an Instagram post, saying he felt “fear, anxiety, and embarrassment” after being diagnosed with coronavirus. Gobert admitted he was “careless” when mocking the concerns over coronavirus and said he hopes his mistake can serve an educational purpose.
“The first and most important thing is I would like to publicly apologize to the people that I may have endangered. At the time, I had no idea I was even infected,” Gobert wrote. “I was careless and make no excuse. I hope my story serves as a warning and causes everyone to take this seriously. I will do whatever I can to support using my experience as way to educate others and prevent the spread of this virus.”
Gobert tested positive for coronavirus just before tip-off of Wednesday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the NBA decided to postpone all regular season games shortly after that. After Monday’s shootaround, Gobert mocked the coronavirus concerns by touching every microphone and recorder in front of him after he and other players were instructed to meet reporters in the media room as opposed to on the court.
Donovan Mitchell has since also tested positive for coronavirus, but he was the only other Jazz player or staff member who was infected — at least as of Thursday afternoon. Jazz players were reportedly upset with the way Gobert handled himself prior to being diagnosed.
Rudy Gobert is not the only Utah Jazz player who has contracted Coronavirus, as Donovan Mitchell has also tested positive.
Mitchell’s test for Coronavirus came back positive, and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Jazz players said privately that Gobert was being “careless” by touching other players and their belongings in the locker room.
Jazz star Donovan Mitchell has tested positive for the coronavirus, league sources tell ESPN. Jazz players privately say that Rudy Gobert had been careless in the locker room touching other players and their belongings. Now a Jazz teammate has tested positive.
Gobert is facing a lot of criticism for the way he mocked Coronavirus prior to testing positive. After the team’s shootaround on Monday, Gobert met with reporters in the media room as opposed to on the court as part of the team’s measures in response to Coronavirus. He made light of the situation by touching every microphone and recorder in front of him.
It’s unclear when or how Gobert contracted Coronavirus, but one reporter said Wednesday night that Gobert previously had contact with travelers from France and Italy.
Gobert and his Utah Jazz teammate, Emmanuel Mudiay, both missed shootaround on Wednesday due to illness. They were both listed as out for the Wednesday night Jazz-Thunder game, though Gobert was later upgraded to questionable because he was feeling well. That matches with what Fournier said.
The Jazz later issued a statement saying that one of their players tested negative for the flu, strep throat and an upper respiratory infection on Wednesday morning. That led them to test for coronavirus, which came back positive.
In the statement, the NBA also stated that this positive test was the reason for the abrupt cancellation of the game between the Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Gobert, a 2020 All-Star and two-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year, had previously been mocking the hysteria over the illness. Now he has become the league’s Patient Zero, forcing them to suspend play indefinitely.
Gobert and Utah Jazz teammate Emmanuel Mudiay both missed shootaround on Wednesday due to illness. They were declared out for Wednesday’s game at Oklahoma City, though Gobert’s status was later changed to questionable. However, the game was later postponed at the last second, with many speculating the reason was due to the illness of the players.
News of Gobert testing positive came just before the league also decided to go on hiatus before deciding the next steps. This is a massive public health crisis and they cannot risk the further spread of the virus.
Rudy Gobert probably is rethinking his behavior over the past few days.
At the Utah Jazz’s shootaround on Monday, players met with reporters in the media room as part of the team’s measures in response to Coronavirus. Gobert made light of the situation by touching every microphone and recorder in front of him, according to Jazz reporter Eric Walden.
As part of the Jazz’s COVID-19 response, shootaround availability was done in the ZBBC media room today rather than on the court. As Rudy Gobert got finished discussing the situation, he stood up, leaned over and made it a point to touch every mic and recorder in front of him.
Gobert complained after the game about the ejection. He felt the referees missed Anunoby’s elbow and didn’t like that he was thrown out.
Rudy Gobert: OG tried to elbow me in the face and the guy who is getting paid to do something about it didn’t do his job. I got ejected and I didn’t do anything wrong. Next time, I’ll take justice into my own hands, so they can eject me for a reason
The referees missed a foul committed by Rudy Gobert on Brandon Ingram at the end of Monday night’s Utah Jazz-New Orleans Pelicans game that left the Pelicans frustrated.
Ingram drove to the basket and went for a layup with his team down 128-126 with under two seconds left. He was smacked on the forearm by Gobert, but no foul was called. He missed the shot and the game ended.
Straight garbage at the end of the Pelicans/Jazz game. Down 2 Brandon Ingram takes it to the rack and CLEARLY gets hit on the arm by Gobert! They review it and determine it was a “clean block”.
Another beef is brewing between Rudy Gobert and a Western counterpart.
After his team’s 121-115 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday, the Utah Jazz center was asked to respond to Damian Lillard’s comments before the game calling Hassan Whiteside the best defensive center in the league. Gobert, the reigning back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year, responded simply by saying, “Tell his coach to put him in at the end of the game.”
Didn’t catch it at the time, but Rudy Gobert’s response last night to Damian Lillard claiming Hassan Whiteside is the best defensive center in the league was priceless: “Tell his coach to put him in at the end of the game.” pic.twitter.com/HIEreImRb1
Whiteside, who has an NBA-high 2.7 blocks per game this season, often closes games for Portland but was benched for the entire fourth quarter against the Jazz in favor of Skal Labissiere. Gobert, meanwhile, is a much more complete defender whose versatility allows him to be a no-brainer closer for Utah.
If Rudy Gobert seemed like he had a little extra fire underneath him during Wednesday’s game against the United States, it’s because he did.
After France handed Team USA the 89-79 defeat in their FIBA World Cup quarterfinal, Gobert teammate Nicolas Batum said the seven-footer got extra motivation from Myles Turner’s recent diss, per NBA.com’s John Schuhmann.
Turner, the Indiana Pacers big man who is starting at center for Team USA at the World Cup, threw some shade at Gobert this past weekend over the Utah Jazz star winning last season’s Defensive Player of the Year Award. Turner, who was also a candidate for the award, said that Gobert was the Defensive Player of the Year “according to some.”
Gobert responded by dropping 21 points and 16 rebounds against Team USA on Wednesday, as the French team eliminated them from the tournament. As for Turner, he probably picked the wrong guy to beef with here, considering that Gobert is known for his pettiness towards other centers.