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The Downbeat #1951: Rudy the Poke-Trainer

Rudy comes out of retirement.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Jazz_1-Italics.0.png" />The very last downbeat of yesterday was about Rudy Gobert's decision to play for the France Basketball team at the olympics and the first downbeat of today is about people freaking out about Rudy Gobert playing at the Olympics.

So much so that Rudy put out this.

I understand why athletes want to go play in the olympics.  It's a point of pride.  It has nothing to do with money.  It's about prestige.  It's about the honor that goes with it.  That's special.  That's unique.

Speaking of that prestige, I completely believe Gordon Hayward would have been at those Olympics had his wife not been due this summer.  But good news everyone!  The Haywards are welcoming their second child.

Congratulations, Gordon Hayward.  What an awesome and exciting time.  What an exhausting and sleepless time as well.  Hopefully baby Hayward gets into a good sleep pattern before the season starts up.

Now all of us here at the dunk, mostly myself, keep up with the trends of the young people.


Which is why I am an adamant Pokemon Trainer.  Pokemon go has finally allowed me to shed the shackles of a 3DS and walk back into the sunlight while my face is stuffed in my phone.

Rudy Gobert has also come out of his Pokemon Training Retirement and has committed a good portion of his offseason regimen to "catching 'em all."

I, for one, embrace our new center Pokemon overlord.  Hopefully Pokemon Go is released in France and Brazil in time for him to conquer the gyms there.

The Utah Jazz and Rudy Gobert were working on an extension prior to his announcement to go to the Olympics it appears.

It looks like they'll pick up after the Olympics.  Whether this is just for communication purposes so all parties are in the same room or if the Utah Jazz want to evaluate his health after the Olympics I understand why both sides want to wait until that's over.  The last thing the Utah Jazz or Rudy's camp would want to do is to place a burden on Rudy while he's representing his country.  Let him enjoy the experience and then after it's over, talk business.

The last one on today's Downbeat is a little tender and dear to my heart.  I understand if many of you disagree with this, and that's okay.  It's okay to have a discussion.  But it would be ignorant to avoid this discussion altogether.  The recent events in Dallas, Minneapolis, and Baton Rouge has done a lot to either pull apart or bring our country together.  I for one have more sympathy for police and minorities in our country due to the events that have occurred.  But I'm not talking directly today about those events.  I'm going to talk about athletes taking a stand on those events.

Recently at a Minnesota Lynx game the players decided to wear these:

Because they did wear these shirts which highlight Castile, Sterling, The Dallas Police Department emblem, and the Black Lives Matter movement with the words "Change starts with us," the off-duty police officers at the game walked out.  4 of them to be exact.  The police chief of those cops also said that many police officers refused to work the game because of this stand.

I bring this event up because I think it's important for people to speak their truth.  I don't have the life experiences of a black man.  I have the life experiences of a quarter latino man who looks white who watched the racism that can occur to latinos happen to my mother and grandmother.  Because I looked white I never had those same things happen to me.  Never was called a racial slur, but saw my grandmother called it very often (she by the way has a master's degree and runs her own local hospice business in my hometown).  I have heard of the stories of my mother and aunt as they lived in a trailer park.  I have heard how they were looked down upon from people in their mormon church because they grew up poor and latino.  I have seen how my second cousins were pulled over multiple times for menial issues because they looked "Mexican".  I have seen it.  But I rarely bring up this injustice because it never happened to me.  I look white.  Most people think I am white.  I was usually ashamed to go to Hispanic groups and meetings at college because I didn't look hispanic enough.  I usually found myself in between both.

I bring this up because I can't be quiet about injustice.  But I can't say I'm anti-police either.  My best friends have been police officers and are police officers.  The kindest, gentlest men and women I know are police officers.  But these events highlight how there are systemic issues in some police departments.  Not all, but some.  Why?  Because prejudice does exist.

I was at dinner with some family members not on my side, and they just thought life was the same for everyone.  Grew up in Idaho in a white family.  I related some of the things I had seen.  It blew their mind.  They had never looked at it from the other perspective.  Which is why I bring my attention to these women who spoke up.  They are not anti-cop.  They are not anti-black lives matter.  They are sharing their experiences in the hope that you will sympathize and see things how they see it.  See their world through their eyes.  I hope you see the world through police officers' eyes, too.  In other words, not everyone is treated the same.  Not everyone is viewed the same.  The minute we start realizing that, a conversation can happen.  The conversation with my family members at dinner was awkward.  It was tense.  But it was necessary.  It helped.  I hope what I said here to can help.  If you don't agree, that's fine.  But keep it civil.  If you do, same thing, keep it civil.  This conversation is not about scoring points on a comment thread to be holier than thou.  This is about embracing our differences and speaking your truth.  Nothing more, nothing less.