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The Downbeat: The Rudy Gobert Eclipse

Where more than just the sun gets blocked.

Solar Eclipse Visible Across Swath Of U.S. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

There was a solar eclipse yesterday did you hear? If you hadn’t, congratulations because that has consumed every form of news and media. Heck I even got out of the first day of class in one of my courses so everyone could see it. It was pretty amazing for those that got to experience it. That was the first total solar eclipse in the United States since 1979.

Do you know what happens on a regular basis during the NBA season? The Rudy Gobert eclipse:

The Utah Jazz have become a very international team. The current roster has players from France (Rudy Gobert), Australia (Joe Ingles, Dante Exum), Sweden (Jonas Jerebko), Brazil (Raul Neto), Spain (Ricky Rubio), Switzerland (Thabo Sefolosha), and (Ukraine) Joel Bolomboy. Because of that they continue getting some international love, this time from France:

I could never say no to a Stockton and Malone highlight real.

Fan Posts!!

This week Sartorii took a dive down free agency, NBA owners, and NBA fans. He shares his feelings about Gordon Hardaway as well as his thoughts on free agency. It’s worth a read and invokes some good thought:

Team management and ownership have done an amazing job at manipulating the perceptions of fans of the league. No matter what, the organisation is who the fan aligns themselves with. The team is the good guy, and the free agent who leaves is the villain... Compare and contrast the reactions to Ricky Rubio and Kyrie Irving this past offseason. Rubio had signed a contract for 4 years with Minnesota, and was traded without warning to the Utah Jazz. He is forced to uproot his entire life from where he has called home to come to a place he does not necessarily want to be, and yet we do not hear the public complain about his treatment... Yet when Kyrie voices displeasure with his team and his wish to be elsewhere in private, where it is then leaked, he is deemed disloyal, egotistic and out of line because he is under contract. It’s an interesting dichotomy that we allow to exist...

Looking at NBA players as what they are, employees of a large company out to gain a profit, it becomes a lot easier to empathise with them. Yes, they are reimbursed handsomely for their trouble and for their skill, but at the cost of a lot of their freedom. Maybe I’m out of line, but I can no longer see the players as the enemy.

Feel free to give him a click and read the rest of his thoughts. And by feel free, I actually mean go. click. read. Thanks Sartorii!

Basketball Insiders recently reached out to Ekpe Udoh to speak with him about his NBA return. He sounds like he’s motivated and excited at another shot in the NBA:

“I’m going to add to it (his defense). I think of myself as one of the best defenders. I just got to get the pace. The pace is going to be totally different, but once I get that conditioning and understand the game, I’ll be ready... I always wanted (to be back in the NBA). I went out on a sour note. It’s almost like redemption for me, to show that I can play.”

I think he’ll turn out to be a great backup for Rudy Gobert and help make life miserable for opposing offenses. Just imagine having to go up against Rudy and the feeling of relief when he finally takes a rest. Only to realize that Udoh and/or Favors are still right there to make you earn every bucket.

Because we can never have too much Donovan Mitchell in our lives. Here’s a recent highlight of him working out:

And here’s Mitchell playing some pickup basketball embarrassing some poor souls:

This kid has special written all over him. I can’t wait until he can get started.