We all know Rudy is special. Do you know who knew it before any of us? One Mr. HOF Coach, Jerry Sloan. Way back in Post-Draft interviews from the 2013 draft, Moni has this from Dennis Lindsey:
On Gobert’s care factor
Lindsey: I must’ve talked with 20 people [at Eurocamp], and independently everybody said, "Boy, we really like how hard Rudy works." You know, so his care factor, Coach Sloan picked up on it immediately in Chicago [at the draft combine].
And then a little more about Gobert from Lindsey in the same interview:
On why the Jazz targeted Rudy Gobert
Lindsey: There was a lot of momentum and different periods, all directed towards, you know, why Rudy had great merit for us.
And so, one of the things, we think the league is really doing a good job of calling the restricted area. It’s, when guys get vertical, a la Roy Hibbert…Not that Roy Hibbert and what he did through the playoffs was the only reason.
But it really made an impression upon us that, you know, to have a real presence at the rim, to have Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Rudy Gobert, that type of size and length, we really, we highly value that. And we have a great history with Mark Eaton.
You know, we, Ty and I, were going over there to Coach [Jerry] Sloan and saying, "What do you think? Could he be, you know, like Mark Eaton, where there’s just that presence that–"
You know, blocking the shots are great, but size prevents a lot of things that happens in the lane. So if he can just be someone that prevents drives, that, you know, he can be a great member of the Jazz…
We were hoping to be very aggressive in the draft, you know, towards our objectives, and you know, Rudy was one of the bigger objectives for us.
So there you go. Jerry knew from the get-go that Rudy was special.
Some great stuff! There is no doubt that Rudy will be a star in this league!
"They're playing great," Stevens said at the TD Garden about 90 minutes before tip-off. "It's one of the more impressive teams I've seen since the All-Star break. Their defense has been outstanding. And it's to be expected somewhat when (Rudy) Gobert's minutes go up because he's an absolute force on that end of the floor, and he's becoming really good on the other end of the floor. I've always thought they had as good a young talent as there is around, and they're doing a good job."
And here is a great quote from Stevens about the Jazz in general full of #UDQMs
He added: "I just think, first of all, check off their (defensive) schematics are good, their will is really good, they play hard, so you've got all the obvious boxes to check. And then they're just longer. (Derrick) Favors and Gobert are a long front line. (Gordan) Hayward's not a super long guy but he's a very athletic 3. (Joe) Ingles is a bigger 2 and (Dante) Exum's an extremely long 1. So they cover a lot of ground. They're very active in helping. They can take some gambles and some risks because not only Gobert, but Favor is a good rim protector in his own right. So they've got some guys down there that can cover up some mistakes."
An amazing vine of Rudy in the same article. (from the Utah Jazz account) I missed this vine because yeah that Lakers game didn't happen.
Rudy posted this on IG last night. I love seeing things like team dinners. Like I said in the game preview the other day. This team likes each other.
And Jody is stuck in Kentucky :(
I'm hoping to get this town's spelling changed to HeBron before I leave Kentucky.— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) March 6, 2015
Probably most of you have seen this article already but Grantland did a great article on Rudy Gobert. The article looks at the defensive presence that Rudy has on the Jazz.
According to the league’s player-tracking system, out of 160 players that are facing at least three shots per game at the rim, nobody is more effective at disrupting those shots than Gobert; opponents are making only 38 percent of their close-range shots when he is within 5 feet. Any team that can take away the paint has a huge head start on becoming a great defense. With Kanter out of the picture, Gobert is getting more minutes and opponents are getting fewer layups.
Gobert is having a Hibbert effect on the Jazz. He is facilitating a cohesive defensive brand that makes everyone look better. Great rim protectors are the best deodorant. This is a big moment for the Jazz, who have been floundering since the end of the Jerry Sloan era. The combination of good coaching and elite interior defense offers probably the simplest path to success in this league. And considering that Utah was the worst defensive team in the NBA just last season, this turnaround has been nothing short of remarkable. Magnifique, even.
And here is a video in French of the guys at Hoopcast debating about Rudy as the MIP compared to players like Butler and Whiteside. I can't understand French but it was fun to watch. So those of you who speak French, let the rest of us know what they said :)
Here is another video about Rudy in French that I watched also but didn't understand. It seems like its about his journey to the NBA (Plus you get a nice shot of Walt Perrin's notebook while taking notes while scouting Rudy at a game ( 2:04-2:05 into the video)
As you know yesterday was my birthday so I'll leave you with this question. If you could give a birthday present to any current Jazz player, which player would it be and what would you get him?
P.S. While writing this Downbeat I told Lou. "I'm writing a Downbeat and its all about Rudy Gobert" Lou responded " Well, of course you are! "